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A SELECT LIBRARY 



NICENE AND POST-NICENE FATHERS 



OF 



THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH. 



TRANSLATED INTO ENGLISH WITH PROLEGOMENA AND EXPLANATORY NOTES. 



VOLUMES I.-VII. 
UNDER THE EDITORIAL SUPERVISION OF 



PHILIP SCHAFF, D.D., LLD., 

Professor of Church History in the 
Union Theological Seminary, New York, 



HENRY WAGE, D.D., 

Principal of King''s College, 
London. 



IN CONNECTION WITH A NUMBER OF PATRISTIC SCHOLARS OF EUROPE 

AND AMERICA. 



VOLUME VIII. 



ST. BASIL 



LETTERS AND SELECT WORKS. 



liiimsm 



NEW YORK: 

THE CHRISTIAN LITERATURE COMPANY. 

OXFORD AND LONDON: 
PARKER & COMPANY. 

1895. 



Copyright, 1895, 
By the christian LITERATURE COMPANY. 



THE TREATISE DE SPIRITU SANCTO 



THE NINE HOMILIES OF THE HEXAEMERON AND THE LETTERS 



OF 



SAINT BASIL THE GREAT 

Archbishop of Ccesarea 



Translated with Notes 



BY 



THE REV. BLOMFIELD JACKSON, M.A. 

Vicar of Saint Bartholomew's^ Moor Lane^ and Fellow of King's College^ London 



(Hi) 



PREFACE. 



This translation of a portion of the works of St. Basil was originally begun under the 
editorial supervision of Dr. Wace. It was first announced that the translation would 
comprise the De Spiritu Sancto and Select Letters, but it was ultimately arranged with Dr. 
Wace that a volume of the series should be devoted to St. Basil, containing, as well as the 
De Spiritu Sancto, the whole of the Letters, and the Hexaemeron. The De Spb'itu Saiicto 
has already appeared in an English form, as have portions of the Letters, but I am not 
aware of an English translation of the LLexaemeron, or of all the Letters, The De Spiritu 
Sancto was presumably selected for publication as being at once the most famous, as it is 
among the most valuable, of the extant works of this Father. The Letters comprise short 
theological treatises and contain passages of historical and varied biographical interest, as 
well as valuable specimens of spiritual and consolatory exhortation. The Hexaeme7'on was 
added as being the most noted and popular of St. Basil's compositions in older days, and 
as illustrating his exegetic method and skill, and his power as an extempore preacher. 

The edition used has been that of the Benedictine editors as issued by Migne, with 
the aid, in the case of the De Spiritu Sancto, of that published by Rev. C. F. H. Johnston. 

The editorship of Dr. Wace terminated during the progress of the work, but I am 
indebted to him, and very gratefully acknowledge the obligation, for valuable counsel and 
suggestions. I also desire to record my thanks to the Rev. C. Hole, Lecturer in Ecclesias- 
tical History at King's College, London, and to Mr. Reginald Geare, Head Master of the 
Grammar School, Bishop's Stortford, to the former for help in the revision of proof-sheets 
and important suggestions, and to the latter for aid in the translation of several of the 
Letters. 

The works consulted in the process of translation and attempted illustration are 
sufficiently indicated in the notes. 

London, December, 1894. 



Cv; 



CONTENTS. 



PAGE 



PROLEGOMENA. 

Genealogical Tables ......••.. ix 

Chronological Table .......... xi 

Biographical Sketch . . * . . . . . . . . xiii 

Notice of extant Works .......... 

The De Spiritu Sancto ........... i 

The Hexaemeron ............ 51 

The Letters ............. 109 



(vii) 



GENEALOGICAL TABLES. 



I. 

THE FAMILY OF St. BASIL. 
? = Macrina. 



Gregorius, bp. 



Basilius = Emmelia. 



St. Macrina. A son St. Basil. Naucratius Gregory, bp. 
died in died aet. 27, of Nyssa. 

infancy. 



I I 

Four daughters. 



Petrus, 
bp. of Sebasteia. 



II. 

THE FAMILY OF St. GREGORY OF NAZIANZUS, AND OF St. AMPHILOCHIUS. 

Philtatius = Gorgonia. 



Amphilochius = Livia. 



Nonna = Gregorius, bp. of Nazianzus. 



Amphilochius, Euphemius. Theodosia. Gregorius Caesarius. Gorgonia. 

bp. of Iconium. the Divine. 



(ix) 



CHRONOLOGICAL TABLE TO ACCOMPANY THE LIFE OF ST. BASIL. 



A.D. 

329 or 330. St. Basil born. 

335. Council of Tyre. 

336. Death of Arius. 

337. Death of Constanfine. 

340. Death of Constantine II, 

341. Dedication creed at Antioch. 

343. Julian and G alius relegated to Macellum, 

Basil probably sent from Annen to school at C^sarea. 

344. Macrostich, and Council of Sardica. 
346. Basil goes to Constantinople. 

350. Death of Constafts* 

351. Basil goes to Athens. 
1st Creed of Sirmium. 

353. Death of Magnentius* 

355. yulian goes to Athens {latter part of year), 

356. Basil returns to C^sarea. 

357. The 2d Creed of Sirmium^ or Blasphemy, subscribed by Hoslus and Liberius. 
Basil baptized, and shortly afterwards ordained Reader. 

358. Basil visits monastic establishments in Egypt, Syria, Palestine, and 

Mesopotamia, and retires to the monastery on the Iris. 

359. The 3d Creed of Sirmium. Dated May 22. Councils of Seleucia and Ariminum. 

360. Acacian synod of Constantinople. 

Basil, now ordained Deacon, disputes with Aetius. 
Dianius subscribes the Creed of Ariminum, and 
Basil in consequence leaves C^sarea. 
He visits Gregory at Nazianzus. 

361. Death of Constantlus and accession of yulian, 
Basil writes the " Moralia." 

362. Basil returns to C^sarea. 

Dianius dies. Eusebius baptized, elected, and consecrated bishop. 

Lucifer consecrates Paulinus at Antioch. 

yulian at Ccesarca. Martyrdom of Eupsychius, 

363. yulian dies {yu?ie 2y), Accession of yovian. 

364. yovian dies. Accession of Valentinian and Valens, 
Basil ordained Priest by Eusebius. 

Basil writes against Eunomius, 
Semiarian Council of Lamj^sacus. 

365. Revolt of Pro cop itis* 
Valens at Ccesarea, 

^66. Semiarian deputation to Rome satisfy Liberius of their orthodoxy. 
Death of Liberius. Damasus bp. of Rome. 
Procopius defeated, 

367. Gratian Augustus. 
Valens favours the Arians. 
Council of Tyana. 

368. Semiarian Council in Caria. Famine in Cappadocia. 

369. Death of Emmelia. Basil visits Samosata. 

370. Death of Eusebius of Caesarea. 

Election and consecration of Basil to the see of C.^sarea. 

(Ki) 



xii BASIL. 

Basil makes visitation tour. 

371. Basil threatened by Arian bishops and by Modestus. 

Valcns^ travelling slowly from Nicomedia to Ccesarea^ arrives at the end of 
the year. 

372. Vale7ts attends great service at Ccesarea on the Epiphany^ fajt. 6. 
Interviews between Basil and Valens. 

Death of Galates. 

Valens endows Ptochotrophium and qnits Ccesarea. 

Basil visits Eusebius at Samosata. 

Claim of Anthimus to metropolitan dignity at Tyana. 

Basil resists Anthimus. 

Basil forces Gregory of Nazianzus to be consecrated bishop of SasIma, 

AND consecrates HIS BROTHER GrEGORY TO NySSA. CoNSEQJJENT ES- 
TRANGEMENT OF Basil and Gregory of Nazianzus. 
Basil in Armenia. Creed signed by Eustathius. 

373. St. Epiphatiius writes the '^ Ancoratus." 
Death of Athanasius. 

Basil visited by Jovinus of Perrha, and by Sanctissimus of Antioch. 

374. Death of Auxentius and consecration of Ambrose at Milan. 
Basil writes the " De Spiritu Sancto." 

Eusebius of Samosata banished to Thrace. 

Death of Gregory, bp. of Nazianzus, the elder. 
375* Death of Valentiitian. Gratian and Valentinian II, emperors. 

Synod of Illyria, and Letter to the Orientals. 

Semiarian Council of Cyzicus. 

Demosthenes harasses the Catholics, 

Gregory of Nyssa deposed. 
376. Synod of Iconium. 

Open denunciation of Eustathius by Basil. 

378. Death of Valens^ Aug. g, 

Eusebius of Samosata and Meletius return from exile. 

379, Death of Basil, Jan. i. 
Theodosius Augustus, 



PROLEGOMENA. 



SKETCH OF THE LIFE AND WORKS OF SAINT BASIL 



I. LIFE. 



I. — Parentage and Birth. 

Under the persecution of the second Maximinus,* a Christian gentleman of good 
position and fair estate in Pontus/ and Macrina his wife, suffered severe hardships.^ 
They escaped with their lives, and appear to have retained, or recovered, some of their 
property/ Of their children the names of two only have survived: Gregory^ and Basil. ^ 
The former became bishop of one of the sees of Cappadocia. The latter acquired a high 
reputation in Pontus and the neighbouring districts as an advocate of eminence,' and as a 
teacher of rhetoric. His character in the Church for probity and piety stood very high." 
He married an orphaned gentlewoman named Emmelia, whose fatlier had suflered 
impoverishment and death for Christ's sake, and who was herself a conspicuous example 
of high-minded and gentle Christian womanhood. Of this happy union were born ten 
children,^ five boys and five girls. One of the bovs appears to have died in infancv, for 
on the death of the elder Basil four sons and five daughters were left to share the 
considerable wealth which he left behind him.'° Of the nine survivors the eldest was a 
daughter, named, after her grandmother, Macrina. The eldest of the sons was Basil, the 
second Naucratlus, and the third Gregory. Peter, the youngest of the whole family, was born 
shortly before his father's death. Of this remarkable group the eldest is commemorated as 
Saint Macrina in the biography written by her brother Gregory. Naucratius died in 
early manhood,** about the time of the ordination of Basil as reader. The three remaining 
brothers occupied respectively the sees of Caesarea, Nyssa, and Sebasteia. 

As to the date of St. Basil's birth opinions have varied between 316 and 330. The 
later, which is supported by Garnier, Tillemont, Maran,*^ Fessler,^^ and Bohringer, mav 
probably be accepted as approximately correct.*" It is true that Basil calls himself an old 
man in 374?** but he was prematurely worn out with work and bad health, and to his friends 
wrote freely and without concealment of his infirmities. There appears no reason to 
question the date 329 or 330. * 

Tw^o cities, Caesarea in Cappadocia and Neocaesarea in Pontus, have both been named 
as his birthplace. There must be some amount of uncertainty on this point, from the fact 
that no direct statement exists to clear it up, and that the word Trarplc was loosely employed 




2 Greg. Naz., Or. xliii. (xx.). N.B. The reff. to the orations and letters of Greg-. Naz. are to the Ofcio iiovus in Migne. 

3 Id. * Greg-, Nyss., Vit. Mac. 17S, 191. 

E Bishop of an unknown see. Of the foolish duplicity of Gregory of Nyssa in fabricating a letter from him, see the 
mention in Epp. Iviii., lix., Ix. 

6 BacrtAeio?, Basiliiis = royal or kingly. The name was a common one. Fabricius catalogues ♦' alii Basilii ultra xxx.,*' 
all of some fame. The derivation of Bac7tA.eu? is uncertain, and the connexion of the last syllable with Aeii? = Aeco? = Aao?, 
people, almost certainly wrong. The root may be KBA, with the idea Ihat the leader makes the followers march. With the 
type of name, cf. Melchi and the compounds of Melech {e.g. Abitnelech) in Scripture, and King, LeRoy, Koenig, among 
modern names. ° 

7 Greg. Nyss., Vit. Mac. 392. 9 Greg. Nyss., Vit. Mac. 1S6. " Greg. Nyss., Vit. Mac. 1S2. 

8 Greg. Naz., Or. xliii. (xx.). i"^ /b. 181, 191. 

12 329. Prudent Maran, the Ben. Ed. of Basil, was a Benedictine exiled for opposing the Bull Unigenitus. | 1762. 

13 «« Natus. c. 330." 

" Gregory of Nazianzus, so called, was born during the episcopate of his father, Gregory, bishop of Nazianzus. 
Gregory the elder died in 373, after holding the see forty-five years. The birth of Gregory the younger cannot therefore be 
put before 32S, and Basil was a little younger than his 'friend. (Greg. Naz,, £p. xxxiii.l But the birth of Gret;ot-y in his 
father's episcopate has naturally been contested. ViJe D.C.B. ii. p. 74S, and L.. Montaut, Revue Critique on Greg, of N. 1S7S, 

10 Ep. clxii. 

(xiii) 



xiv BASIL. 

to mean not only place of birth, but place of residence and occupation.' Basil's parents 
had property and interests both in Pontus and Cappadocia, and were as likely to be in the 
one as in the other. The early statement of Gregory of Nazianzus has been held to have 
weight, inasmuch as he speaks of Basil as a Cappadocian like himself before there was any 
other reason but that of birth for associating him with this province.'* Assenting, then, to the 
considerations which have been held to afford reasonable ground for assigning Cagsarea as 
the birthplace, we may adopt the popular estimation of Basil as one of ''The Three 
Cappadocians," ^ and congratulate Cappadocia on the Christian associations which have 
rescued her fair fame from the slur of the epigram which described her as constituting with 
Crete and Cilicia a trinity of unsatisfactoriness."* Basil's birth nearly synchronizes with the 
transference of the chief seat of empire from Rome to Byzantium. He is born into a 
world where the victory already achieved by the Church has been now for sixteen years 
officially recognized.* He is born into a Church in which the first great Council has 
already given official expression to those cardinal doctrines of the faitli, of which the final 
and formal vindication is not to be assured till after the struggles of the next six score of 
years. Rome, reduced, civilly, to the subordinate rank of a provincial city, is pausing 
before she realises all her loss, and waits for the crowning outrage of the barbarian in- 
vasions, ere she begins to make serious efforts to grasp, ecclesiastically, something of her 
lost imperial prestige. For a time the centre of ecclesiastical and theological interest is to 
be rather in the East than in the West. 

n. — Education. 

The place most closely connected with St. Basil's early years is neither C^sarea nor 
Ncocaesarea, but an insignificant village not far from the latter place, where he was brought 
up by his admirable grandmother, Macrina.^ In this neighbourhood his family had con- 
siderable property, and here he afterwards resided. The estate was at Annesi, on the river 
Iris (Jekil-Irmak),' and lay in the neighbourhood of scenery of romantic beauty. Basil's 
own description " of his retreat on the opposite side of the Iris matches the reference of 
Gregory of Nazianzus^ to the narrow glen among lofty mountains, which keep it always 
in shadow and darkness, while far below the river foams and roars in its narrow preci2:)i- 
tous bed. 

Tliere is some little difficulty in understanding the statement of Basil in Letter 
CCXVI., that the house of his brother Peter, which he visited in 375, and which we may 
assume to have been on the family property (^cf. Letter CX. § i) was " not far from Neo- 
ciEsarea." As a matter of fact, the Iris nowhere winds nearer to Neocaesarea than at a distance 
of about twenty miles, and Turkhal is not at the nearest point. But it is all a question of 
degree. Relatively to Cassarea, Basil's usual place of residence, Annesi is near Neocaesarea. 
An analogy would be found in the statement of a writer usually residing in London, that if 
he came to Sheffield he would be not far from Doncaster."^ 

At Annesi his mother Emmelia erected a chapel in honour of the Forty Martyrs of 
Sebaste, to which their relics were translated. It is possible that Basil was present at the 

1 Grejrory of Nazianzus calls Basil a Cappadocian in Ep. vi., and speaks of their both belonging- to the same Trarpi'?. 
In his Homily hi Gordium martyrem, Basil mentions the adornment of Caesarea as being his own adornment. In Epp. Ixxvi. 
and xcvi. he calls Cappadocia his Trarpi?. In Ep. Ixxiv., Caesarea. In Ep. li. it is doubtful whether it is Pontus, whence he 
writes, which is his Trarpt'?, or Caesarea, of which he is writing. In Ep. Ixxxvii. it is apparently Pontus. Gregory of Nyssa 
(Oral. I. in xl . Mart.) calls Sebaste the TraTpt? of his forefathers, possibly because Sebaste had at one time been under the 
jurisdiction of Cappadocia. So in the N.T. Trarpt's is the place of the early life and education of our Lord. 

2 Maran, Vit. Bas. i. 3 Bohringer. 

4 KaT7ra53<e?, Korjre?, Kt'At»ce?, rpta Kanna KaKicrra. On Basil's own estimate of the Cappadocian character, cf. p. 153, n. 
cf. also Isidore of Peiusium, i. Epp. 351, 352, 2S1. 

5 The edict of Milan was issued in 313. 6 Epp. cciv., ccx., ccxxiii. 

T Epp. iii., ccxxiii. The researches of Prof. W. M. Ramsay enable the exact 'spot to be identified with approximate cer- 
tainty, and, with his guidance, a pilgrim to the scenes of Basil's boyhood and earlier monastic labours might feel himself on 
fairly sure ground. He refers to the description of St. Basil's hermitage given by Gregory of Nazianzus in his Ep. iv., a 
description which may be compared with that of Basil himself in Ep. xiv., as one which " can hardly refer to any other spot 
than the rocky glen below Turkhal. Ibora," in which diocese Aimesi was situated, " cannot be placed further down, because 
it is the frontier bishopric of Pontus towards Sebasteia, and further up there is no rocky glen until the territory of Comana is 
reached. Gregory Nyssenus, in his treatise on baptism" (Migne, iii. 423 c.) " speaks of <:omana as a neighbouring citv. 
Tiliemont, thinking that the treatise was written at Nyssa, infers that Nyssa and Comana were near each other. The truth is 
that Gregory must have written his treatise at Annesi. We may therefore infer that the territory of Ibora adjoined that of 
Comana on tlie east and that of Sebasteia on the south, and touched the Iris from the boundary of Comana down to the point 
below Turkhal. The boundarv was probably near Tokat, and Ibora itself may have been actually situated near Turkhal." 
Prof. W. M. Ramsay, //I'si. Geog. of Asia Minor, p. 326. 8 jijp^ xiv. « Greg. Naz., Ep. iv. 

10 On the visits to Peter, Prof. W. M. Ramsay writes : '« The first and more natural interpretation is that Peter lived at a 
place further up the Iris than Da/.imon, in the direction of Neocaesarea. But on more careful consideration it is obvious that, 
after the troubles in Dazimon, Basil went to take a holiday with his brother Peter, and therefore he did not necessarily 
continue his journey onward from Dazimon. The expression of neii,rhbourhood to the district of Neoc.^sarea is doubtless 
only comparative. Basil's usual residence was at Caesarea. Moreover, as Ibora has now been placed, its territory probably 
touched that of Neocaesarea." Hist. Geog-. of A.M. p. 328. 



PROLEGOMENA. xv 



dedication services, lasting all night long, which are related to have sent his brother 
Gregory to sleep. ^ Here, then, Basil was taught the rudiments of religion by his grand- 
mother,^ and by his father,' in accordance with the teaching of the great Gregory the 
Wonder-worker."* Here he learned the Catholic faith. 

At an early age he seems to have been sent to school at Caesarea,^ and there to have 
formed the acquaintance of an Eusebius, otherwise unknown,^ Hesychius/ and Gregory 
of Nazianzus,® and to have conceived a boyish admiration for Dianius the archbishop.* 

From Cffisarea Basil went to Constantinople, and there studied rhetoric and philosophy 
with success. Socrates ^^ and Sozomen ^^ say that he worked at Antioch under Libanius. 
It may be that both these writers have confounded Basil of Cagsarea with the Basil to 
whom Chrysostom dedicated his De Sacerdotio^ and who was perhaps the bishop of 
Raphanea, who signed the creed of Constantinople.^^ 

There is no corroboration of a sojourn of Basil of Cassarea at Antioch. Libanius was 
at Constantinople in 347?^^ ^'^d there Basil may have attended his lectures.^* . 

From Constantinople the young Cappadocian student proceeded in 351 to Athens. Of 
an university town of the 4th century we have a lively picture in the writingsof his friend,''' 
and are reminded that the rough horse-play of the modern undergraduate is a survival of a 
very ancient barbarism. The lads were affiliated to certain fraternities,^^ and looked out 
for the arrival of every new student at the city, with the object of attaching him to the 
classes of this or that teacher. Kinsmen were on the watch for kinsmen and acquaintances 
for acquaintances ; sometimes it was mere good-humoured violence which secured the 
person of the freshman. The first step In this grotesque matriculation was an entertain- 
ment ; then the guest of the day was conducted with ceremonial procession through the 
agora to the entrance of the baths. There they leaped round him with wild cries, and 
refused him admission. At last an entry was forced with mock fury, and the neophyte 
was made free of the mysteries of the baths and of the lecture halls. Gregory of Nazianzus, 
a student a little senior to Basil, succeeded in sparing him the ordeal of this initiation, 
and his dignity and sweetness of character seem to have secured him Immunity from rough 
usage without loss of popularity.'^ At Athens the two young Cappadocians were noted 
among their contemporaries for three things : their diligence and success in w^ork ; their 
stainless and devout life ; and their close mutual affection. Everything was common to 
them. They were as one soul. What formed the closest bond of union was their faith. 
God and their love of what is best made them one.'^ Himerlus, a pagan, and Prohaeresius, 
an Armenian Christian, are mentioned among the well-known professors whose classes 
Basil attended.'^ Among early friendships, formed possibly during his university career, 
Basil's own letters name those with Terentius '^^ and Sophronius.^* 

If the Libanian correspondence be accepted as genuine, we may add Celsus, a pupil 
of Libanius, to the group. ^^ But If we except Basil's affection for Gregory of Nazianzus, 
of none of these Intimacies Is the Interest so great as of that which is recorded to have 
been formed between Basil and the young prince Julian. ^^ One incident of the Athenian 
sojourn, which led to bitter consequences in after days, was the brief communication witli 
Apollinarius, and the letter written "from layman to layman," ^^ which his opponents made 
a handle for much malevolence, and perhaps for forgery. Julian arrived at Athens after the 
middle of the year 355.^* Basil's departure thence and return to Ccesarea may therefore 

1 Greg. Nyss., Orat. in xl. Mart. s Greg. Naz., Or. xliii, 

2 Ep. ccxxiii. ■« See Ep cciv. and note on p. 2!jo. 

6 i.e. the Cappndociun Caesarea. The theory of Tillemont that Caesarea of Palestine was the scene of Basil's early 
school life seems hardly to deserve the careful refutation of Maran ( Vit. Bas. i, 5). cf. Ep. xlv. p. 14S, and p. 145, n. cf. also 
note on p. 141 on a possible intercourse between the boy Basil and the young princes Gallus and Julian in their seclusion at 
Macellum. The park and palace of MaceJIum (Amm. Marc, ^'■fiindus") was near Mt. Ariraeus (Soz. v. 2) and close to 
Caesarea. If Basil and Julian did ever study the Bible together, it seems more probable that they should do so at Macellum. 
while the prince was still being educated as a Christian, than afterwards at Athens, when the residence at Nicomedia had 
resulted in the apostasy, cf. Maran, Vit. Bas. ii. 4. 

c EJ>. cclxxi. ' 7 Ep. Ixiv. 8 Greg. Naz, Or. xliii. 9 Ep. H. i" Ecc. Hist. iv. 26. 

1* Ecc. Hist. vi. 17. 12 Maran, Vit. Bas. ii., Fabricius, Ed. Harles. vol. ix. 

13 He does not seem to have been at Antioch until .^53. D.C.B. iii. 710, when Basil was at Athens. 

1* cf. the correspondence with Libanius, of which the genuineness has been questioned, in Letters cccxxxv.-ccclix. Letter 
cccxxxix. suggests a possibility of som^studv of Hebrew. But Basil always uses the LXX. 

15 Greg. Naz., Or. xliii., and poem s^ Vita Sua. is ^parptai. Greg., De Vita Sua, 215. 

'7 A somewhat similar exemption is i:j|corded of Dean Stanley at Rugby. 

18 Greg. Naz., Or. xliii. 20, 21 ; Carih)'^i. 221-235: 

** '0 5' €ts iv ^/Ltas fiiac^epovTco? rfyaye 

Tout' rjc Sed? re koCi tto^o? twm >cpei<r(rdvwi'.'* 
Ullman {Life of Greg.) quotes Cic, De Amicitia, xxv. : ♦• Amiciti(2 vis est in eo ut units quasi animus fiat ex pluribus.** 
" Soc. iv. 26 and Soz. vi. 17. *'' ^/. Ixiv. ^^ Ep. cclxxn. 22 ^/>. cccvi. 

'3 Greg. Naz., Or. iv., Epp. xxxix., xl., xli., on the first of which see note. 2* Ep. ccxxiv. 2. 

'5 Amm. Mar. xv. 2, S. " Permissus " is no doubt an euphemism for " coactus.** 



xvi BASIL. 

be approximately fixed early in 356.' Basil starts for his life's work with the equipment 
of the most liberal education which the age cotdd supply. He has studied Greek litera- 
ture, rhetoric, and philosophy, under the most famous teachers. He has been brought 
into contact with ever}' class of mind. His training has been no narrow hothouse forcing 
of theological opinion and ecclesiastical sentiment. The world which he is to renounce, 
to confront, to influence, is not a world unknown to him.'^ He has seen heathenism in 
all the autumn grace of its decline, and comes away victorious from seductions which 
were fatal to some young men of early Christian associations. Athens no doubt contri- 
buted its share ot influence to the apostasy of Julian. Basil, happily, was found to be 
rooted more firmly in the faith. ^ 

III. — Life at C^sareas Baptism; and Adoption of Monastic Life. 

When Basil overcame the efforts of his companions to detain him at Athens, Gregory 
was prevailed on to remain for a while longer. Basil therefore made his rapid journey 
homeward alone. His Letter to Eustathius * alleges as the chief reason for his hurried 
departure the desire to profit by the instruction of that teacher. This may be the language 
of compliment. In the same letter he speaks of his fortitude in resisting all temptation to 
stop at the city on the Hellespont. This city I hesitate to recognise, with Maran, as 
Constantinople. There may have been inducements to Basil to stop at Lampsacus, and it 
is more probably Lampsacus that he avoided.^ At Cassarea he was welcomed as one of 
the most distinguished of her sons,® and there for a time taught rhetoric with conspicuous 
success.' A deputation came from Neocaesarea to request him to undertake educational 
work at that city,** and in vain endeavoured to detain^ him by lavish promises. Accord- 
ing to his friend Gregory, Basil had already determined to renounce the world, in the 
sense of devoting himself to an ascetic and philosophic life.^^ His brother Gregory, how- 
ever," represents him as at this period still under more mundane influences, and as shew- 
ing something of the self-confidence and conceit which are occasionally to be observed in 
young men who have just successfully completed an university career, and as l&eing-4aT^eIy 
indebted to the persuasion and example of his sister Macrina for the resolution, with which 
he now carried out the determination to devote himself to a life of self-denial. To the 
same period may probably be referred Basil's baptism. The sacrament was administered 
by Dianius.^^ It would be quite consonant with the feelings of the times that pious parents 
like the elder Basil and Emmelia should sinunk from admitting their boy to holy baptism 
before his encountering the temptations of school and university life.^ The assigned date, 

' " Non enim citius contigit anno 3i;t; exetinte ant ineunte ^^'i. si quidem ibi vidi't Basilius yuliamim, qui in hanc nrhem 
vcnit jam me iia parte anni 355 elapsa : neque etiam serins^ quia spatia inter stadia litterarum et sacerdotium nitnis contrahi 
non patitur rerum Bnsilii gestarum multitudo.'^ Maran. 

2 On the tducation of Basil, Euo^. Fialon rcinarks (l^tude Historique et Litteraire, p, 15) : •• Saint Gregoire, sur le 
trone patriarcnl^ de Constantinople, declarait ne pas savoir la langue de Rome. II en fut de meme de Saint Basile. Dti 
moins, c^e<t vaineinent qu^on chercherait dans ses ouTrages quelqne trace des portes ou des prosateurs Latins, Si des 
passages de P f-fexameron semhlent tires de Ciceron ou de Pline, il ne faut pas s'y meprendre. C'etaint de sortes de lieux 
cainmiin^ qui se retrouvent dans Plutarque et dans ^lien-cenx-ci Ics avaieiit empruntcs d quelque vieil auteur, Aristotle. par 
exemple, et c^est a cette source premiere qu^avaient puise Grecs et Latins. Les Grecs poiissaient meme si loin Vignoratice du 
Latin qu''un de leurs grammairiens ne eeinble pas se doiiter qu''il y ait des langues sans article, et que Gregoire de Nysse, 
ayant d dire comment le mot del s'exprime en Latin, Pecrit a peu p^es comme il devait Ventendre prononcer atix RomainSy 
KeAou^, sans se preaccuper de la quant ite ni de Vetymologie . . . La litt-rature Grecque etait clone le fonds unique des 
etudes en Orient, et certes elle pouvait . a elle seule, satisfaire de nobles intelligences . . . C'est dans Homere que les jeunes 




paganione, et plus d'une passao-e de lejtr livres blessait la morale severe du christian isme. Nul doicte qu^un maitre religieux, 
un sat lit, comme le pere de Basile, h prnpos des dietix d'' Romrre, . . . diet plus d'une fois deplorer Vaveuglemejit d'un si beau 
genie. . .. fusqu' ici, les^ etudes de Basile repondent h peu pres h notre instruction seconaairs. Alors, comme aujourd''hui 
ces prejnt^re etudes n'etaient qu'un acheminement a des travaux plus serieux. Muni de ce premier bagage litteraire, unjeune 
homme riche, H que vonlait hriller dans le monde. allait dans les grands centres, d Antioctie, d Alexandrie, d Constantinople, 
et surtont d Athenes, etudicr r eloquence et la philosophie." 

^ cf. C. UUman, Life of Gregory of Naz. chap, ii., and Greer. Naz., Or. xliii. 21. ^Xa^epaX fiev rots aAXoi? Aerivai ftr 
ei5 yf/vxri". * Ep. i. 6 What these inducements can have been it seems vain to conjecture, cf. Ep. i. and note. 

« Greof. Naz., Or. xliii. 1 Rufinus xi. q. 

8 £p^ ccx. § 2. The time assigned by Maran for the incident here narrated is no doubt the right one. But the depu- 
tation need have travelled no farther than to Annesi, if, as is tolerably certain, Basil on his return from Athens visited his 
relatives and the family estate. 

y The word Ka.Ta.v\ilv would be natural if they sought to keep him in Pontus ; hardly, if their object was to bring him 
fromC^sarea. ^ i" Or. xliii. ^^Vit.Mac. 

'* ^f' P<'' Sp. Scto. xxix., where the description of the bishop who both baptized and ordained Basil, and spent a long life 
in the ministry, can apply only to Dianius. cf. Maran, Vit. Bas. iii. 

13 According to the legendary life of St. Basil, attributed to St. Amphilochius, he was baptized at Jerusalem. Nor is it 
right to omit to notice the arsdrument of Wall {Infant Biptism, ch. x.) founded on a coincidence between two passages in the 
writings of Greg. Naz. In Or. xl. ad init. he speaks of baptism as a yeVeo-i? rjaepii'i) kolI e\ev9eoi kiI Autk/) naOov, irav rb olttIj 
yeyetrew? Ka.Kvfj.txa. nepiTejxvova-a, Kal Trpb? rrji/ auai ^corji/ e;rat^ayou<ra. In Or. xliii., he says of Basil that t4 npvjTa Tr)<; rjAticia? i37r6 
T<{» TTarol . . . a-iTa.pyavovTai koX SianKaTreTai nXuaiv Tr\v api(ny]v t" ko-X Ka^apwrartjv, r)v Y)fj.epiv'r)v 6 Oe'oq AaStS koAJx; hvona^ei 
icaX T^s yvKTcpiv^t avrCeerov, As they stand alone, there is something to be said for the conclusion Wall deduces from these 



PROLEGOMENA. xvii 



7^^^, may be reasonably accepted, and shortly after his baptism he was ordained Reader.^ 
It was about this time that he visited monastic settlements in Palestine, Mesopotamia, 
Coele Syria, and Egypt, '^ though he was not so fortunate as to encounter the great pope 
Athanasius.^ Probably during this tour he began the friendship with Eusebius of Samo- 
sata which lasted so long. 

To the same period we may also refer his renunciation of his share of the family 
property/ Maran would appear to date this before the Syrian and Egyptian tour, a journey 
which can hardly have been accomplished without considerable expense. But, in truth, with 
every desire to do justice to the self-denial and unworldliness of St. Basil and of other like- 
minded and like-lived champions of the Faith, it cannot but be observed that, at all events 
in Basil's case, the renunciation must be understood with some reasonable reservation. 
The great archbishop has been claimed as a •" socialist," whatever may be meant in these 
days by the term/ But St. Basil did not renounce all property himself, and had a keen 
sense of its rights in the case of his friends.® From his letter on behalf of his foster- 
brother, placed by Maran during his presbyterate,' it would appear that this foster-brother, 
Dorotheus, was allowed a life tenancy of a house and farm on the family estate, with a 
certain number of slaves, on condition that Basil should be supported out of the profits. 
Here we have landlord, tenant, rent, and unearned increment. St. Basil can scarcely be 
fairly cited as a practical apostle of some of the chapters of the socialist evangel of the end 
of the nineteenth century. But ancient eulogists of the great archbishop, anxious to re- 
present him as a good monk, have not failed to foresee that this might be urged in objection 
to the completeness of his renunciation of the world, in their sense, and, to counterbalance 
it, have cited an anecdote related b}^ Cassian." One day a senator named Syncletius came 
to Basil to be admitted to his monastery, with the statement that he had renounced his 
property, excepting only a pittance to save him from manual labour. ''You have spoilt 
a senator," said Basil, *' without making a monk." Basil's own letter represents him as 
practically following the example of, or setting an example to, Syncletius. 

Stimulated to carry out his purpose of embracing the ascetic life by what he saw 
of the monks and solitaries during his travels, Basil first of all thought of establishing a 
monastery In the district of Tiberina.^ Here he would have been in the near neigh- 
bourhood of Arianzus, the home of his friend Gregory. But the attractions of Tiberina 
were ultimately postponed to those of Ibora, and Basil's place of retreat was fixed in the 
glen not far from the old home, and only separated from Anncsi by the Iris, of which we 
have Basil's own picturesque description.^^ Gregory declined to do more than pay a visit to 
Pontus, and so is said to have caused Basil much disappointment.^^ It is a little characteristic 
of the Imperious nature of the man of stronger will, that w'hile he would not give up the 
society of his own mother and sifter in order to be near his friend, he co^nplalned of his 
friend's not making a similar sacrifice in order to be near him.^^ Gregory ^^ good-humouredly 
replies to Basil's depreciation of Tiberina by a counter attack on Casarea and Annesi. 

At the Pontic retreat Basil now began that system of hard ascetic discipline which 
eventually contributed to the enfeeblement of his health and the shortening of his life. He 
complains again and again in his letters of the deplorable physical condition to which he 
is reduced, and he died at the age of fifty. It is a question whether a constitution better 
capable of sustaining the fatigue of long journeys, and a life prolonged beyond the Council 
of Constantinople, would or would not have left a larger mark upon the history of the 
Church. There can be no doubt, that in Basil's personal conflict with the decadent empire 
represented by Valens, his own cause was strengthened by his obvious superiority to the 
hopes and fears of vulgar ambitions. He ate no more than was actually necessary for 
daily sustenance, and his fare was of the poorest. Even when he was archbishop, no 
flesh meat was dressed in his kitchens.^* His wardrobe consisted of one under and one 

passag-es. Against it there is the tradition of the later baptism, with the indication of Dianius as havino^ performed the rite in 
the De Sp. Scto. 29. On the o.her hand ra Trowra ttj? ii\KiKi.a.<; mijj^^ht possibly refer not to infancy, but to boyhood. 

^ De S. Scto. xxiv. On his growing seriousness of character, cf. Ep. ccxxiii. 

2 Epp. i. and ccxxiii. § 2. 3 £,p^ Ixxx. * cf. Ep. ccxxiii. § 2. Gree. Naz., Or. xliii, 

^ e.g. The New Party ^ 1S94, PP- S3 and 83, quotinti: Bas., In Tsa. i., Horn, in illiid Lucce Destniam horrea, § 7, and Horn. 
in Divites. c Epp. iii.. xxxvi. cf. Dr. Travers Smith, Basil, p. 33. '' Ep. xxxvii. 

* Inst. vii. 19. cf. note on Cassian, vol, xi. p. 254 of this series. 

9 Ep. xiv. ad fin. 10 Ep. xiv. 11 Greg-. Naz., Ep. i. or xliii. § 25. 

*2 On the later difference between the triends at the time of Basil's consecration, De Broglie remarks : •' Ainsi se irahissait 
hchaqne pas cette pro ford! diversite de caractere qui devait pnrfois troiibler, mais pljis sonnent ranimer et resserrer l\union de 
ces deux belles dmes : Basile, ne pour le gouvernement des homines et pour la lutte, prompt et precis dans ses resolutions, 
embrassant a coup d^oeil le but a pourstiivre et y ittarc/iant droit sans s^inquieter des difficultes et du jugemetit des spectateurs ; 



obstacles, mais aussi plus aisement decourag^. melant a Ifypoursuite des pf us grands intercts un soin pent Hre cxcessif 
dig nit e et toutes les inquietudes d'un cccur souffrantJ'* L'Eglise et V Empire Romain ati IVme Siecle, v, p. 89. 
!•* Greg. Naz., Ep. ii. " Ep. xli. 



xviii BASIL. 

over garment. By night he wore haircloth ; not by day, lest he should seem ostentatious. 
He treated his body, says his brother, with a possible reference to St. Paul,^ as an angry 
owner treats a runaway slave. ^ A consistent celibate, he was yet almost morbidly con- 
scious of his unchastity, mindful of the Lord's words as to the adultery of the impuro 
thought.^ St. Basil relates in strong terms his admiration for the ascetic character cf 
Eustathius of Sebaste,'' and at this time was closely associated with him. Indeed, Eus- 
tathius was probably the first to introduce the monastic system into Pontus, his part in the 
work being comparatively ignored in later days when his tergiversation had brought him 
into disrepute. Thus the credit of introducing monasticism into Asia Minor was given to 
Basil alone.* A novel feature of this monasticism was the Ccenobium,^ for hitherto ascetics 
had lived in absolute solitude, or in groups of only two or three. '^ Thus it was partly 
relieved from the discredit of selfish isolation and unprofitable idleness.*^ 

The example set by Basil and his companions spread. Companies of hard-working 
ascetics of both sexes were established in every part of Pontus, every one of them an 
active centre for the preaching of the Nicene doctrines, and their defence against Arian 
opposition and misconstruction.* Probably about this time, in conjunction with his friend 
Gregory, Basil compiled the collection of the beauties of Origen which was entitled 
Philocalia, Origen's authority stood high, and both of the main divisions of Christian 
thought, the Nicene and the Arian, endeavoured to support their respective views from his 
writings. Basil and Gregory were successful in vindicating his orthodoxy and using his 
aid in strengthening the Catholic position. ^'^ 

,IV. — Basil and the Councils, to the Accession of Valens, 

Up to this time St. Basil is not seen to have publicly taken an active part in the 
personal theological discussions of the age ; but the ecclesiastical world was eagerly dis- 
puting while he was working in Pontus. Aetius, the uncompromising Arian, was openly 
favoured by Eudoxius of Germanicia, who had appropriated the see of Antioch in 357. 
This provoked the Semiarians to hold their council at Ancyra in 358, when the Sirmian 
''Blasphemy" of 357 was condemned. The Acacians were alarmed, and manoeuvred for 
the division of the general council which Constantius was desirous of summoning. Then 
came Ariminum, Nike, and Seleucia, in 359, and " the world groaned to find itself Arian." 
Deputations from each of the great parties were sent to a council held under the personal 
presidency of Constantius at Constantinople, and to one of these the young deacon was 
attached. The date of the ordination to this grade is unknown. On the authority of 
Gregory of Nyssa^^ and Philostorgius,^^ it appears that Basil accompanied his namesake of 
Ancyra and Eustathius of Sebaste to the court, and supported Basil the bishop. Philostor- 
gius would indeed represent the younger Basil as championing the Semiarian cause, though 
with some cowardice. ^^ It may be concluded, with Maran, that he probably stood forward 
stoutly for the truth, not only at the capital itself, but also in the neighbouring cities of 
Chalcedon and Heraclea.^* But his official position was a humble one, and his part in the 
discussions and amid the intrigues of the council was onlv too likely to be misrepresented 
by those with whom he did not agree, and even misunderstood by his own friends. In 
360 Dianius signed the creed of Ariminum, brought to Caesarea by George of Laodicea ; 
and thereby Basil was so much distressed as henceforward to shun communion with his 
bishop. ^"^ He left Caesarea and betook himself to Nazianzus to seek consolation in the 
society of his friend. But his feelings towards Dianius were always affectionate, and he 
indignantly repudiated a calumnious assertion that he had gone so far as to anathematize 
him. Two years later Dianius fell sick unto death and sent for Basil, protesting that at 
heart he had always been true to the Catholic creed. Basil acceded to the appeal, and in 
362 once again communicated with his bishop and old friend. ^^ In the intei*val between the 

» I Cor. ix. 27. 2 Greg:. Nyss., In Ban. 314 c. Cassian, Inst. vi. 19. *Ep. ccxxiii. § 3. 

6 cf. Tillemont {y.. passim, Walch iii. 552, Schrbckh xiii. 25. quoted by Robertson, i. 366. 

« Koivo^Lov. 7 Maran, Vit. J5as. vi. 

» cf. Ba.s.,Be^. Fus. TJ"^."?/. vii., quoted by Robertson, i. 366. His rule has been compared to that of St. Benedict. D.C.B. 
i. 2S4. On the life in the Retreat, cf. Epp. ii. and ccvii. 9 Soz. vi. 17. 

"'.'^* ^°5"» ^^^,' -^"'' i^' 26. Of this work Gregory says, in sending it to a friend : Iva. hi. tl KaX vnofivrjixa trap' yiixmv exi??, 
TO 5 avTO Koi ToO ayiov BaciAecou ttvktioj' airta-Ta^KafjLev <7oi t^s ilpiyevov^ 4>tAoKaA(a5, eK\oya^ €\u)v twv xpy]<Tin*»v TOis <}>i.\o\6- 
yois. E^. Ixxxyii. ^ ^ , " ^' Eunom. li iv. 12. 

18 ot'5 Bacri'Aeio? erepos napriv <rvva<rnC^(av Siaicoviav en ra^iv l^wv, Suj'aiuei ixev toO XeYeti/ iroWOtv iTpo(t>epu)v, to) Se ttj? yvu)!Jir)<; 
adapaei Trpo? tou? koii'ou? vTroo-TeAAonxeVou? aywra?. This is unlike Basil. " This may be the Arian wav of saying that St. Basil 
withdrewr from the Seleucian deputies Virhen they yielded to the Acacians." Rev. C. F. H. Johnston, 'Z>^ S. Scto. Int. xxxvi. 

" Ep. ccxxiii. § 5. 16 Ep, li. 16 jrpp^ viii. andli. 



PROLEGOMENA. xix 



visit to Constantinople and this death-bed reconciliation, that form of error arose which 
was long known by the name of Macedonianism, and which St. Basil was in later years to 
combat with such signal success in the treatise Of the Spirit, It combined disloyalty to 
the Spirit and to the Son. But countervailing events were the acceptance of the Honio- 
ousion by the Council of Paris, ^ and the publication of Athanasius' letters to Serapion on 
the divinity of the two Persons assailed. To this period is referred the compilation by 
Basil of the Moralia.^ 

The brief reign of Julian would affect Basil, in common with the whole Church, in two 
ways: in the relief he would feel at the comparative toleration shewn to Catholics, and the 
consequent return of orthodox bishops to their sees ; ^ in the distress with which he would 
witness his old friend's attempts to ridicule and undermine the Faith. Sorrow more per- 
sonal and immediate must have been caused by the harsh treatment of Csesarea ^ and the 
cruel imposts laid on Cappadocia. What conduct on the part of the Caesareans may have 
led Gregory of Nazianzus^ to speak of Julian sls justly offended, we can only conjecture. 
It may have been the somewhat disorderly proceedings in connexion with the appoint- 
ment of Eusebius to succeed Dianius. But there can be no doubt about the sufferings of 
Caesarea, nor of the martyrdom of Eupsychius and Damas for their part in the destruction 
of the Temple of Fortune.^ 

The precise part taken by Basil in the election of Eusebius can only be conjectured. 
Eusebius, like Ambrose of Milan, a layman of rank and influence, was elevated per sal- 
turn to the episcopate. Efforts were made by Julian and by some Christian objectors to 
get the appointment annulled by means of Gregory, Bishop of Nazianzus, on the ground 
of its having been brought about by violence. Bishop Gregory refused to take any retro- 
gressive steps, and thought the scandal of accepting the tumultuary appointment would be 
less than that of cancelling the consecration. Gregory the younger presumably supported 
his father, and he associates Basil with him as probable sufferers from the imperial ven- 
geance.' But he was at Nazianzus at the time of the election, and Basil is more likely to 
have been an active agent. ^ 

To this period may be referred Basil's receipt of the letter from Athanasius, men- 
tioned in Letter CCIV., § 6.^ On the accession of Jovian, in June, 36^, Athanasius wrote to 
him asserting the Nicene Faith, but he was greeted also by a Semiarian manifesto from 
Antioch,^^ of which the first signatory was Meletius. 

Valentinian and Valens, on their accession in the following year, thus found the 
Church still divided on its cardinal doctrines, and the lists were marked in which Basil was 
henceforward to be a more conspicuous combatant. 

V. — The Presbyterate. 

Not long after the accession of Valens, Basil was ordained presbyter by Eusebius. ^^ 
An earlier date has been suggested, but the year 364 is accepted as fitting in better with 
the words of Gregory ^^ on the free speech conceded to heretics. And from the same 
Letter it may be concluded that the ordination of Basil, like that of Gregory himself, was 
not wholly voluntary, and that he was forced against his inclinations to accept duties when 
he hesitated as to his liking and fitness for them. It was about this time that he wrote his 
Books against Eunomius ; ^^ and it may possibly have been this work which specially com- 

1 360. Mansi, iii. 357-9. 

2 y^QiKOL. " Capita moralia Christiana, ex meris Novi Testamenti dictis contexta et reffulis Ixxx. comprehensa y Fab. 
Closely connected with these are the liegiilce fusius traclatce (opoi /card jrAdToj) Iv., and the Regulce brevius tractates (opot Kar* 
iitn6ixr]v) cccxiii. (Migne, xxxi. pp. S90-1306) on which see later. 

3 The most important instance beinj>- that of Athanasius, who, on his return to Alexandria after his third exile, held a 
synod which condemned Macedonians as well as Arians. cf. Newman's Arians, v. i. 

* Soz. V. 4. 5 Or. iv. § 92. 

« Epp. c, cclii. Soz. V. 11. cf. also Epp. xxxix., xl., and xli., with the notes on pp. 141, 142, for the argument for and 
a^'ainst the genuineness of the correspondence. Two Eupsychii of Caesarea are named in the Acta Sanctorum and by the 
Petits Bollandistes, — one ctlebrated on April 9, said to have been martyred in the reign of Hadrian, the other the victim 
of Julian in 362, commemorated on Sept. 7. Tillemont identifies them. Baronius thinks them distinct. J. S. Stilting {Act. 
Sanct. ed. 1S6S) is inclined to distinguish them mainly on the ground that between 363 and the time of Basil's describing 
the festival as an established yearly commemoration there is not sufficient interval for the cultus to have arisen. This alone 
seems hardly convincing. The local interest in the victim of Julian's severity would naturally be great. Becket was murdered 
in 1170 and canf)nized in 1173, Dec. 29 being fixed for his feast; Lewis VII. of France was among the pilgrims in '179. 
Bernadette Soubirous announced her vision at Lourdes in 1S58; the church was begun there in 1S62. 

7 Or. v. 39. 8<-/. Greg. Naz. Ep. viii. ^ Maran, Vit. Bas. viii.8. W Soc. iii. 25. 

11 It will have been noted that I have accepted the authority of Philostorgius that he was already deacon. The argument 
employed by Tillemont against this statement is the fact of no distinct diaconate being menti-^np'l by Gregory of Nazianzus. 
But the silence of Gngorv does not conclusively outweigh the distinct en ra^iv 5ia<6i'ou e'xw:' of Philostorgius ; and a diaconate 
is supported by the mistaken statement of Socrates (^H.E. iv. 26) that the deacon's orders were conferred by Meletius. 

12 Greg. Naz., Ep. viii. _ ^3 cf. Ep. xx. 



XX . BASIL. 

mended him to Eusebius. However this may be, there is no doubt that he was soon 
actively engaged in the practical work of the diocese, and made himself very useful to 
Eusebius. But Basil's very vigour and value seem to have been the cause of some aliena- 
tion between him and his bishop. His friend Gregory gives us no details, but it may be 
inferred from what he says that he thought Basil ill-used.^ And allusions of Basil have 
been supposed to imply his own sense of discourtesy and neglect. '^ The position became 
serious. Bishops who had objected to the tumultuary nomination of Eusebius, and had 
with difficulty been induced to maintain the lawfulness of his consecration, were ready to 
consecrate Basil in his place. But Basil shewed at once his wisdom and his magnanimity. 
A division of the orthodox clergy of Cappadocia would be full of danger to the cause. 
He would accept no personal advancement to the damage of the Church. He retired with 
his friend Gregory to his Pontic monasteries,' and won the battle by flying from the field. 
Eusebius was left unmolested, and the character of Basil was higher than ever.'* 

The seclusion of Basil in Pontus seemed to afford an opportunity to his opponents in 
Cappadocia, and according to Sozomen^^ Valens himself, in 365, was moved to threaten 
Caisarea w^ith a visit by the thought that the Catholics of Cappadocia were now deprived 
of the aid of their strongest champion. Eusebius would have invoked Gregory, and left 
Basil alone. Gregory, however, refused to act without his friend, and, with much tact 
and good feeling, succeeded in atoning the two offended parties.^ Eusebius at first re- 
sented Gregory's earnest advocacy of his absent friend, and was inclined to resent what 
seemed the somewhat impertinent interference of a junior. But Gregory happily appealed 
to the archbishop's sense of justice and superiority to the common unwillingness of high 
dignitaries to accept counsel, and assured him that in all that he had written on the subject 
he had meant to avoid all possible offence, and to keep within the bounds of spiritual and 
philosophic discipline.' Basil returned to the metropolitan city, ready to cooperate loyally 
with Eusebius, and to employ all his eloquence and learning against the proposed Arian 
aggression. To the grateful Catholics it seemed as though the mere knowledge that Basil 
was in Caesarea was enough to turn Valens with his bishops to flight,^ and the tidings, 
brought by a furious rider, of the revolt of Procopius,^ seemed a comparatively insignifi- 
cant motive for the emperor's departure. 

There was now a lull in the storm. Basil; completely reconciled to Eusebius, began 
to consolidate the archiepiscopal power which he afterward wielded as his ovvn,^^ over the 
various provinces in which the metropolitan of Cassarea exercised exarchic authority. ^^ In 
the meantime the Semiarians were beginning to share with the Catholics the hardships in- 
flicted by the imperial power. At Lampsacus in 364 they had condemned the results of 
Ariminum and Constantinople, and had reasserted the Antiochene Dedication Creed of 341. 
In 366 they sent deputies to Liberius at Rome, who proved their orthodoxy by subscribing 
the Nicene Creed. Basil had not been present at Lampsacus,^^ but he had met Eustathius 
and other bishops on their way thither, and had no doubt influenced the decisions of the 
synod. Now the deputation to the West consisted of three of those bishops with whom he 
was in communication, Eustathius of Sebasteia, Silvanus of Tarsus, and Theophilus of 
Castabala. To the first it was an opportunity for regaining a position among the ortho- 
dox prelates. It can hardly have been without the persuasion of Basil that the deputation 
went so far as they did in accepting the homoousion, but it is a little singular, and in- 
dicative of the comparatively slow awakening of the Church in general to the perils of the 
degradation of the Holy Ghost, that no profession of faith was demanded from the Lamp- 
sacene delegates on this subject. ^^ In 367 the council of Tyana accepted the restitution of 
the Semiarian bishops, and so far peace had been promoted. ^^ To this period may very 
probably be referred the compilation of the Liturgy which formed the basis of that which 
bears Basil's name.^^ The claims of theology and of ecclesiastical administration in Basil's 

1 Grear. Naz., Orat. xliii. 28, Epp. xvi.-xvii. 2 ^_^, Horn, in Is. i. 57, aAafoveia yap SetvTj to /ixTjSei/b? oiea^ai xpr]C,iiv. 

3 Gre2:orv his no doubt that Eusebius was in the wrong, even ridiculously in the wrong, if such be the true interpreta- 
tion of his curious phrase {Or. xliii. 28), an-TeTat yap ov twi' TroAAwv /moi'bv, aAAa ical twi' apio-Twi', 6 Mwjao?. The monasteries 
to which Basil fled Gregory here {id. 29) calls <;)pofTt(rT>/pia, the word used by Aristophanes {Clouds, 94) of the house or school 
of Socrates, and apparently a comic parody on Si/fao-TJjptof. It might be rendered " reflectory." " Contemplatory " has been 
suggested. It is to be noted that Basil in the De Sp. Scto. (see p. 49, n.) appears to allude to the Acharnians. The friends 
probably read Aristonhanes together at Athens. 

* Grej^. Naz., Or. xliii. Soz. vi. 15. 5 vi. 15. 6 Greg. Naz., Epp. xvi., xvii., xix., and Or. xx. 

7 ovK u/3pto-Ti<tu9, aAAa n-feujutariKW? re Ka\ (|>tAocr6(/)u>?. 8 Soz. vi. 15. ^ Amm. Marc. xxvi. 7, 3. 

^0 €VT€v9^v avTo> Treptrjf #cal to »cpaTO? ttj? €KK\r)(Tia<;, ei kHI t»/? Ka6€8pa<; ei^e Td Sevrepa, Greg. Naz., Or. xliii. 

" cf. Maran, Vil. Bas. xiv. and D.C.A. s.v. exarch. The archbishop of Csesarea was exarch of the provinces {l-nap^ian) 
comprised in the Pontic Diocese. Maran refers to Z^//^r5 xxviii., xxx., and xxxiv., as all shewing the important functions 
discharged by Basil while yet a presbyter. 

J2 £p. ccxxiii. IS Hefele, § 88. Schrockh. Kirch, xii. .^i. Swete, Doctrine of the Holy Spirit, 54. 

M Epp. ccxliv. and cdxiii. « Greg. Naz., Or. xliii. 



PROLEGOMENA. xxi 



time did not, however, prevent him from devoting much of his vast enerf^y to works of 
charity. Probably the great hospital for the housing and relief of travellers and the poor, 
which he established in the suburbs of Cassarea, was planned, if not begun, in the latter 
years of his presbyterate, for its size and importance were made pretexts for denouncing 
him to Elias, the governor of Cappadocia, in 373,^ and at the same period Valens contrib- 
uted to its endowment. It was so extensive as to go by the name of Newtown,^ and was 
in later years known as the '' Basileiad." ^ It was the mother of other similar institutions 
in the country-districts of the pro\ince, each under a Chorepiscopus.^ But whether the 
Ptochotrophium ^ was or was not actually begun before Basil's episcopate, great demands 
were made on his sympathy and energy by the great drought and consequent famine which 
befell Ca2sarea in 368.^ He describes it with eloquence in his Homily (9« the Fai^iine 
and Drought? The distress was cruel and widespread. The distance of Caesarea from 
the coast increased the difficulty of supplying provisions. Speculators, scratching, as it 
were, in their country's wounds, hoarded grain in the hope of selling at famine prices. 
These Basil moved to open their stores. He distributed lavishly at his own expense,^ and 
ministered in person to the wants of the sufferers. Gregory of Nazianzus ® gives us a 
picture of his illustrious friend standing in the midst of a great crowd of men and women 
and children, some scarcely able to breathe; of servants bringing in piles of such food as 
is best suited to the weak state of the famishing sufferers; of Basil with his own hands 
distributing nourishment, and with his own voice cheering and encouraging the sufferers. 

About this time Basil suffered a great loss in the death of his mother,^^ and sought 
solace in a visit to his friend Eusebius at Samosata.^^ But the cheering effect of his jour- 
ney was lessened by the news, which greeted him on his return, that the Arians had suc- 
ceeded in placing one of their number in the see of Tarsus. ^^ The loss of Silvanus was ere 
long followed by a death of yet graver moment to the Church. In the middle of 370 died 
Eusebius, breathing his last in the arms of Basil.^^ 

VI. — Basil as Archbishop. 

The archlepiscopal throne was now technically vacant. But the man who had prac- 
tically filled it, '' the keeper and tamer of the lion," ^^ was still alive in the plenitude of 
his power. What course was he to follow.? Was he meekly to withdraw, and perhaps be 
compelled to support the candidature of another and an inferior? The indirect evidence ^^ 
has seemed to some strong enough to compel the conclusion that he determined, if possible, 
to secure his election to the see.''^ Others, on the contrary, have thought him incapable of 
scheming for the nomination.^^ The truth probably lies between the two extreme views. No 
intelligent onlooker of the position at Cassarea on the death of Eusebius, least of all the highly 
capable administrator of the province, could be blind to the fact that of all possible com- 
petitors for the vacant throne Basil himself was the ablest and most distinguished, and the 
likeliest to be capable of directing the course of events in the interests of orthodoxy. But 
it does not follow that Basil's appeal to Gregory to come to him was a deliberate step to 
secure this end. He craved for the support and counsel of his friend ; but no one could 

1 Ep. xciv. 2 Vj Ko.\.vr\ 7r6Ai5. Grear. Naz., Or. xliii. cf. Sir Thomas Morc's Utopia^ Ek. II. Chap. V. 

s Soz. vi. 34. * Epp, cxlii., cxliii. 

6 TrTioxoTpo^erov. Ep. clxxvi. Professor Ramsay, in The Church and the Roman Empire, p. 464, remarks that " the ' New 
City' of Basil seems to have caused the gradual concentration of the entire pnpuhition of Cajsarca round the ecclesiastical 
centre, and the abandonment of the old city. Modern Kaisari is situated betwetn one and two miles from the site of the 
Graeco-Roman city." » * For tlie date, c/". Maran, Vit. Bas. ix. ^ e,. 

^ § 2, p. 63. cf. Greg-. Naz., Or. xliii. 340-342, and Greg. Nyss., In Eun. i. 306. 

8 '^r^Z', Nyss., In Eunom. i. § 10 (in tliis series, p. 45), remarks of Basil : t-<\v TrarpiZav ovaiav koX npo t^5 tepaxrui'r)? 
at^eiSw? a^aAoiaa? toi? n^yrjai koI jtiaAio-ra iv no t);5 aiToScia^ Katpio, (ca^* ov rTeo-Tarei t^? €KK\ricrLa<;, en ev t<L icAj/pw riav irpeo'^vTepwi' 
Uparevioi/ «al jotera TauTa, fir}Se twj' VTro\eL60evTwu (f>ei<Tdfji.€vo^. Maran ( V/t. Bas. xi. § 4), with the object of proving that Basil 
had completely abandoned all property whatsoever, says that this must refer to a legacy from his mother. The terms used are 
far more consistent with the view already expressed (§ III.). So in his Oroi. in Bas. Gregory speaks of Basil at the time as 
" selling his own possessions, and buying provisions with the proceeds." 

Or. xliii. 10 Greg. Nyss., Vit. Mac. 1S7, Ep. xxx, " Ep. xxxiv. 12 7^. 

^3 Greg. Naz., Or. xliii. " Greg. Naz., Or. xliii. 33. 

*5 i.e. the extant reply to his urgent request that Gregory would come to him. Gree. Naz., Ep. xl. 

1(5 ti Persuade que, s^il echouait e'en cf ait fait de lafoi de Nicee en Cappadoce, il deploie totites les ressources de son ffenie 
aussi souple que puissant." Fialon, Et. IlisL p. S^. ' 

'•A; 




his becoming his successor." Canon Venables in D.C.B. 

*' Erse/bst, so schwer ersich anfano-s ziir Uehernahme des Preshyterates hatte entschliessen konnen,jetzt, -wo er sich in 
seine Stelli^nf^ hi^iein gearheitet hatte iv'unschte er nichts sehnlicher al seine Wahl zum Bischof. Bohringer the IVth c. p. 24. 

•' Was it really from ambitious views ? Certainly the suspicion, which even his friend entertained, attaches to'him," 
Ulltnanrt, Life of Gregory of Naz., Cox's Trans, p. 117. 

17 " Ne stispicatiis quidem in se oculos conjectum iri.''"' Maran, Vit. Bas. 

" Former une brigue pour parvenir a V episcopal etait bien loin de sa pensee,^* Ceillier, iv. 354., 



xxii BASIL. 

have known better that Gregory the younger was not the man to take prompt action or 
rule events. His invention of a fatal sickness, or exaggeration of a slight one, (ailed to 
secure even Gregory's presence at Ccesarea. Gregory burst into tears on receipt of the 
news of his friend's grave illness, and hastened to obey the summons to his side. But on 
the road he fell in with bishops hurrying to Csesarea for the election of a successor to 
Eusebius, and detected the unreality of Basil's plea. He at once returned to Nazianzus 
and wrote the oft-quoted letter/ on the interpretation given to which depends the estimate 
formed of Basil's action at the important crisis. 

Basil may or may not have taken Gregory's advice not to put himself forward. But 
Gregory and his father, the bishop, from this time strained every nerve to secure the election 
of Basil. It was felt that the cause of true religion was at stake. *' The Hol}^ Ghost must 
win." ^ Opposition had to be encountered from bishops who were in open or secret sym- 
pathy with Basil's theological opponents, from men of wealth and position with whom 
Basil was unpopular on account of his practice and preaching of stern self-denial, and from 
all the lewd fellows of the baser sort in Caesarea.^ Letters were written in the name of 
Gregory the bishop with an eloquence and literary skill which have led them to be gener- 
ally regarded as the composition of Gregory the younger. To the people of Caesarea Basil 
was represented as a man of saintly life and of unique capacity to stem the surging tide of 
heresy.'' To the bishops of the province who had asked him to come to Ciesarea without 
saying why, in the hope perhaps that so strong a friend of Basil's might be kept away 
from the election without being afterwards able to contest it on the ground that he had 
had no summons to attend, he expresses an earnest hope that their choice is not a factious 
and foregone conclusion, and, anticipating possible objections on the score of Basil's weak 
health, reminds them that they have to elect not a gladiator, but a primate.^ To Eusebius 
of Samosata he sends the letter included among those of Basil ^ in which he urges him 
to cooperate in securing the appointment of a worthy man. Despite his age and physical 
infirmity, he was laid in his litter, as his son says' like a corpse in a grave, and borne to 
Caesarea to rise there with fresh vigour and carry the election by his vote.* All resistance 
was overborne, and Basil was seated on the throne of the great exarchate. 

The success of the Catholics roused, as was inevitable, various feelings. Athanasius 
wrote from Alexandria^ to congratulate Cappadocia on her privilege in being ruled by 
so illustrious a primate. Valens prepared to carry out the measures against the Catholic 
province, which had been interrupted by the revolt of Procopius. The bishops of the 
province who had been narrowly out-voted, and who had refused to take part in the con- 
secration, abandoned communion with the new primate. ^° But even more distressing 
to the new archbishop than the disaflection of his suffragans was the refusal of his friend 
Gregory to come in person to support him on his throne. Gregory pleaded that it was 
better for Basil's own sake that there should be no suspicion of favour to personal friends, 
and begged to be excused for staying at Nazianzus.^ Basil complained that his wishes 
and interests were disregarded,^ and was hurt at Gregory's refusing to accept high 
responsibilities, possibly the coadjutor-bishopric, at Caesarea. ^^ A yet further cause of 
sorrow and annoyance was the blundering attempt of Gregory of Nyssa to effect a 
reconciliation between his uncle Gregory, who was in sympathy with the disaffected 
bishops, and his brother. He even went so far as to send more than one forged letter 
in their uncle's name. The clumsy counterfeit was naturally found out, and the widened 
breach not bridged without difficulty.^* The episcopate thus began with troubles, both 
public and personal. Basil confidently confronted them. His magnanimity and capacity 
secured the adhesion of his immediate neighbours and subordinates,^ and soon his ener- 
gies took a wider range. He directed the theological campaign all over the East, and 
was ready alike to meet opponents in hand to hand encounter, and to aim the arrows of 
his epistolary eloquence far and wide.^^ He invokes the illustrious pope of Alexandria 
to join him in winning the support of the West for the orthodox cause.^^ He is keenly 
interested in the unfortunate controversy which distracted the Church of Antioch.^** He 
makes an earnest appeal to Damasus for the wonted sympathy of the Church at Rome.^^ 
At the same time his industry in his see was indefatigable. He is keen to secure the 



1 Greg. N., J5:/>. xl. (xxi.). •♦^^.xU. 7 o^. xliil. 

' ^J'- ^'.'j.i- , ^ Ep- xliii. « Or. xviii., xHii. 

,n ^(- '''"'• §-37- , , ^ Ep. xlvii. 9 Athan., Ad Pall. Q<y, Ad Jolian, et Ant. 951. 

10 This IS interred from the latter part of Ep. xlviii. cf. Maran, Vit. Jias. xiii. 3. n Greir. Naz., Ep. xlv. 

" Id.Ep.xlvi. 1* JE:/./. Iviii., lix., Ix. 16 /c/. § 4V 18 it/. Ixix. 

w TJji/6e T^f KaOeSpas Tt>7jc. Greg. Naz., Or. xliii. i5 Greg. Naz., Or. xliii. § 40. " Basil, Epp. Ixvi., Ixvii. " Ep. Ixx. 



PROLEGOMENA. xxiii 



purity of ordination and the fitness of candidates.^ Crowds of working people come to 
hear him preach before the}^ go to their work for the day.** He travels distances which 
would be thought noticeable even in our modern days of idolatry of the great goddess 
Locomotion. He manages vast institutions eleemosynary and collegiate. His correspond- 
ence is constant and complicated. He seems the personification of the active, rather 
than of the literary and scholarly, bishop. Yet all the while he is writing tracts and 
treatises which are monuments of industrious composition, and indicative of a memory 
stored with various learning, and of the daily and eficctive study of Holy Scripture. 

Nevertheless, while thus actively engaged in fighting the battle of the faith, and in the 
conscientious discharge of his high duties, he was not to escape an unjust charge of pusilla- 
nimity, if not of questionable orthodoxy, from men who might have known him better. 
On September 7th, probably in 371,^ was held the festival of St. Eupsychius. Basil 
preached the sermon. Among the hearers were many detractors."* A few days after the 
festival there was a dinner-party at Nazianzus, at which Gregory was present, with 
several persons of distinction, friends of Basil. Of the party was a certain unnamed guest, 
of religious dress and reputation, who claimed a character for philosophy, and said some 
very hard things against Basil. He had heard the archbishop at the festival preach 
admirably on the Father and the Son, but the Spirit, he alleged, Basil defamed.^ While 
Gregory boldly called the Spirit God, Basil, from poor motives, refrained from any clear 
and distinct enunciation of the divinity of the Third Person. The unfavourable view of 
Basil was the popular one at the dinner-table, and Gregory was annoyed at not being 
able to convince the party that, while his ow^n utterances were of comparatively little im- 
portance, Basil had to weigh every word, and to avoid, if possible, the banishment which 
was hanging over his head. It was better to use a wise " economy " ^ in preaching the 
truth than so to proclaim it as to ensure the extinction of the light of true religion. 
Basil ' shewed some natural distress and astonishment on hearing that attacks against him 
were readily received.® 

It was at the close of this same year 371 ^ that Basil and his diocese suffered most 
severely from the hostility of the imperial government. Valens had never lost his antipathy 
to Cappadocia. In 370 he determined on dividing it into two provinces. Podandus, a 
poor little town at the foot of Mt. Taurus, was to be the chief seat of the new province, and 
thither half the executive was to be transferred. Basil depicts in lively terms the dismay and 
dejection of Caesarea.^^ He even thought of proceeding in person to the court to plead the 
cause of his people, and his conduct is in itself a censure of those who would confine the 
sympathies of ecclesiastics within rigidly clerical limits. The division was insisted on. 
But, eventually, Tyana was substituted for Podandus as the new capital; and it has been 
conjectured^^ that possibly the act of kindness of the prefect mentioned in Ep. LXXVIII. 
may have been this transfer, due to the intervention of Basil and his influential friends. 

But the imperial Arian was not content with this administrative mutilation. At the 
close of the year 371, flushed with successes against the barbarians,^^ fresh from the baptism 
of Endoxius,' and eager to impose his creed on his subjects, Valens was travelling leisurely 
towards Syria. He is said to have shrunk from an encounter with the famous primate of 
Coesarea, for he feared lest one strong man's firmness might lead others to resist. ^^ Before 
4um went Modestus, Prefect of the Praetorium, the minister of his severities,^^ and before 
Modestus, like the skirmishers in front of an advancing army, had come a troop of Arian 

^Efi.Wil. ^ Mamn, Vi't. Bas. -Kvin. i^. "^ napaa-vpeiv. lb. 7 ^/. Ixxi. 

2 f/ex. Horn. iii. p. 63. *Gre^. Nuz., Ep. Iviii, « olK.ovoii.y]Br\va.i. 

8 Mr. C. F. H. Tohaston ( The Book of St. B as; it the Great on the Holy Spirit), in noting- that St. Basil in the De Sp. 
Scto. refrained from "directly usinii the term ©po, of the Holy Gliost, remarks that he also avoided the use of the term o^oouo-tos 
of the Son, '• in accordance with his own opinion expressed in Ep. ix." In Ep. ix., however, he rather gives his reasons for 
preferring the homoousion. The epitome of the essay of C, G. Wuilcknis (Leipsig, 1724) on the economy or reserve of St. 
Basil, appended by Mr. Jolinston, is a valuable and interesting summary of the best defence which can be made for such 
reticence. It is truly pointed out that the only possible motive in Basil's case was the desire of serving God, for no one could 
suspect or accuse him of ambition, fear, or covetousness. And if there was an avoidance of a particular phrase, there was no 
paltering with doctrine. As Dr. Swete {Doctrine of the H. 5., p. 64) puts it: "He knew that the opponents of the Spirit's 
Deity were watching their opportunity. Had the actual name of God been used in reference to the Third Person of the 
Trinity, they would have risen, and, on the plea of resisting blasphemy, expelled St. Basil from his see, which would then have 
been immediately filled by a Macedonian prelate. In private conversations with Gregory, Basil not only asserted again and 
again the Godhead of the Spirit, but even confirmed his statement with a solemn imprecation, eTrapacra/u.ei'os eauroJ to (ftpiKtoSea-- 
Tarou, avTOu rov Tri/eu/aaTO^ e/CTrecreti' el /xr) ae'jSot to nvevixa /LteTd rraTpb? koI 'Ytou w? 6/u.oovcriov koI o/aoTt/xoi/." (Greg. rsa.Z., Or. xliii.) 
In Letter viii. § 11 he distinctly calls the Spirit God, as in Adv. Eunomius, v., if the latter be genuine. In the De S. Srfo. 
(p. 12) Basil uses the word o'lKOvoftia in the patristic sense nearly equivalent to incarnation. In the passage of Bp. Lighttoot, 
referred to in the note on p. 7, he points out how in ^«. ad Eph. xviii. the word has '* already reached its first stage on the 
way to the sense of • dissimulation,' which was afterwards connected with it, and which led to disastrous consequences in the 
theology and practice of a later age." On " Reserve " as taught by later casuists, see Scavini, Theolog. Mar, ii. 23, the letters 
of Pascal, and Jer. Taylor, Ductor Dubit, iii. 2. 

'J Miiran, Vit. Ras. xx. i. " Maran, Vit. Bas. xix. ■^, " Theod. iv. 16. 

10 Epp. Ixxiv., Ixxv., Ixxvi. " Greg. Nyss , C. Eunom. i. " Soc. iv. 16. 



XXIV BASIL. 

bishops, with Euippiiis, in all probability, at their head.^ Modestus found on his arrival 
that Basil was making a firm stand, and summoned the archbishop to his presence with 
the hope of overawing him. He met with a dignity, if not with a pride, which was more 
than a match for his own. Modestus claimed submission in the name of the emperor, 
Basil refused it in the name of God. Modestus threatened impoverishment, exile, torture, 
death. Basil retorted that none of these threats frightened him : he had nothing to be con- 
fiscated except a few rags and a few books ; banishment could not send him beyond the lands 
of God ; torture had no terrors for a body already dead ; death could only come as a friend to 
hasten his last journey home. Modestus exclaimed in amazement that he had never been 
so spoken to before. " Perhaps," replied Basil, "you never met a bishop before." The 
prefect hastened to his master, and reported that ordinary means of intimidation appeared 
unlikely to move this undaunted prelate. The archbishop must be owned victorious, or 
crushed by more brutal violence. But Valens, like all weak natures, oscillated between 
compulsion and compliance. He so far abated his pretensions to force heresy on Cappadocia, 
as to consent to attend the services at the Church on the Festival of the Epiphany.* 
The Church was crowded. A mighty chant thundered over the sea of heads. At the end 
of the basilica, facing the multitude, stood Basil, statue-like, erect as Samuel among the 
prophets at Naioth,^ and quite indifferent to the interruption of the imperial approach. 
The whole scene seemed rather of heaven than of earth, and the orderly enthusiasm of the 
worship to be rather of angels than of men. Valens half fainted, and staggered as he ad- 
vanced to make his offering at God's Table. On the following day Basil admitted him 
within the curtain of the sanctuary, and conversed with him at length on sacred subjects."* 

The surroundings and the personal appearance of the interlocutors were significant. 
The apse of the basihca was as a holy of holies secluded from the hum and turmoil of the 
vast city.^ It was typical of what the Church was to the world. The health and strength 
of the Church were personified in Basil. He was now in the ripe prime of life, but bore 
marks of premature age. Upright in carriage, of commanding stature, thin, with brown hair 
and eyes, and long beard, slightly bald, with bent brow, high cheekbones, and smooth skin, 
he would shew in every tone and gesture at once his high birth and breeding, the supreme 
culture that comes of intercourse with the noblest of books and of men, and the dignity of a 
mind made up and of a heart of single purpose. The sovereign presented a marked contrast 
to the prelate.^ Valens was of swarthy complexion, and by those who approached him nearly 
it was seen that one eye was defective. He was strongly built, and of middle height, but his 
person was obese, and his legs were crooked. He w^as hesitating and unready in speech 
and action.' It is on the occasion of this interview that Theodoret places the incident of 
Basil's humorous retort to Demosthenes,® the chief of the imperial kitchen, the Nebuza- 
radan, as the Gregories style him, of the petty fourth century Nebuchadnezzar. This 
Demosthenes had already threatened the archbishop with the knife, and been bidden to go 
back to his fire. Now he ventured to join in the imperial conversation, and made some 
blunder in Greek. "An illiterate Demosthenes ! " exclaimed Basil; *' better leave the- 
ology alone, and go back to your soups." The emperor was amused at the discomfiture of 
his satellite, and for a while seemed inclined to be friendly. He gave Basil lands, possible- 
part of the neighbouring estate of Macellum, to endow his hospital.® 

But the reconciliation between the sovereign and the primate was only on the surface.. 
Basil would not admit the Arians to communion, and Valens could not brcok the refusal. 
The decree of exile was to be enforced, though the very pens had refused to form the letters 
of the imperial signature.**' Valens, however, was in distress at 'the dangerous illness of 



1 cf. Epfi. \xvni., cxxviii., ccxiiv. and ccli., and Maran, Vii. Bas. xx. i ; possibly the bishops were in Cappadocia as early 
as the Eupsychian celebration, 

2 Jan. 6, .^72. At this time in the Eastern Church the celebrations of the Nativity and of the Epiphany were combined. 
cf. D. C.A. i. 617. s I Sam. xix. 20. 

* Greg. Naz., Or. xliii., Greg. Nyss., Adv. Eiinom. i., Soz. vi. 16, Theod. iv. 16. De Broglie well combines the variations 
which are not quite easy to harmonize in delail. On the admission within the sanctuary, cf. the concession of Ambrose to 
Theodosius in Theod. v. iS. 

6 Caesarea, when sacked by Sapor in 260, is said to have contained 400,000 inhabitants (Zonaras, xii. 630). It may be 
presumed to have recovered and retained much, if not all, of its importance. 

"The authority for the personal appearance of Basil is an anonymous Vatican document quoted by Baronius, Ann. 
37S : *'Procero ftiit hahitu corporis et recto, siccus, gracilis ; color ejus ftiscus, vtiltus temperatus pallore, Justus nasus. super, 
cilia in orbem injlexa et adducta ; cogitahundo similis fuit, pauca in vultu rugce, eoeque renidentesy gence ohlongce.tempora 
aliquantum cava, promissa barba, et mediocris canities.'" 

7 Amm. Marc. xxx. 14, 7: '* Cessator et piger: nigri coloris, pupula ociili unius obstructa, sed ita ut non eminus 
appareret : fisTura bene compacta membrorum, stature nee procera nee humilis, incurvis cruribus, exstanteque mediocriter 
ventre:* _ " Bon pere, bon epoux, arien fervent et zele, mais faible, timide, Valens etait ni pour la vieprivee. oU il eiit ete utt 
honnete cttoyen et un des saints de VArianisme." Fialon, Et. Hist. 159. 

* cf. Theod. V. 16 and n'^te on p. 120 of Theod. in this series. 

» Theod. iv. 16. Bas., Ep. xciv. 10 Theod. iv. 16. 



PROLEGOMENA. xxv 



Galates, his infant son, and, on the very night of the threatened expatriation, summoned Basil 
to pray over him. A brief rally was followed by relapse and death, which were afterwards 
thought to have been caused by the young prince's Arian baptism.^ Rudeness was from 
time to time shewn to the archbishop by discourteous and unsympathetic magistrates, as in 
the case of the Pontic Vicar, who tried to force an unwelcome marriage on a noble widow. 
The lady took refuge at the altar, and appealed to Basil for protection. The magistrate de- 
scended to contemptible insinuation, and subjected the archbishop to gross rudeness. His 
ragged upper garment was dragged from his shoulder, and his emaciated frame was 
threatened with torture. He remarked that to remove his liver would relieve him of a great 
inconvenience. '^ 

Nevertheless, so far as the civil power was concerned, Basil, after the famous visit of 
Valens, was left at peace. ^ He had triumphed. Was it a triumph for the nobler prin- 
ciples of the Gospel? Had he exhibited a pride and an irritation unworthy of the Christian 
name? Jerome, in a passage of doubtful genuineness and application, is reported to have 
regarded his good qualities as marred by the one bane of pride,"* a " leaven" of which sin 
is admitted by Milman^ to have been exhibited by Basil, as well as uncompromising firm- 
ness. The temper of Basil in the encounter with Valens would probably have been some- 
what differently regarded had it not been for the reputation of a hard and overbearing 
spirit which he has won from his part in transactions to be shortly touched on. His 
attitude before Valens seems to have been dignified without personal haughtiness, and to 
have shewn sparks of that quiet humour which is rarely exhibited in great emergencies 
except by men who are conscious of right and careless of consequences to self, 

VII. — The Breach with Gregory of Nazianzus. 

Cappadocia, it has been seen, had been divided into two provinces, and of one of these 
Tyana had been constituted the chief town. Anthimus, bishop of Tyana, now contended 
that an ecclesiastical partition should follow the civil, and that Tyana should enjoy parallel 
metropolitan privileges to those of Caesarea. To this clai-n Basil determined to offer an 
uncompromising resistance, and summoned Gregory of Nazianzus to his side. Gregory 
replied in friendly and complimentary terms,® and pointed out that Basil's friendship for 
Eustathius of Sebaste was a cause of suspicion in the Church. At the same time he 
placed himself at the archbishop's disposal. The friends started together with a train of 
slaves and mules to collect the produce of the monastery of St. Orestes, in Cappadocia 
Secunda, which was the property of the see of Csesarea. Anthimus blocked the defiles 
with his retainers, and in the vicinity of Sasima ' there was an unseemly struggle between 
the domestics of the two prelates.® The friends proceeded to Nazianzus, and there, with 
imperious inconsiderateness, Basil insisted upon nominating Gregory to one of the bishop- 
rics which he was founding in order to strengthen his position against Anthimus.^ For 
Gregory, the brother, Nyssa was selected, a town on the Halys, about a hundred miles 
distant from Caesarea, so obscure that Eusebius of Samosata remonstrated wiih Basil on 
the unreasonableness of forcing such a man to undertake the episcopate of such a place. ^"^ 
For Gregory, the friend, a similar fate was ordered. The spot chosen was Sasima. a townlet 
commanding the scene of the recent fray.^^ It was an insignificant place at the bifurcation of 
the road leading northwards from Tyana to Doara and diverging westward to Nazianzus. ^- 

^ Theod. iv. i6. Soz. vi. 17.* Soc. iv. 26. Greg-. Naz., Or. xliii. Ruf. xi. q. « Gresf. Naz., Or. xliii. 

3 •♦ The archbishop, who asserted, with inflexible pride, the truth of his opinions and the dignity ot his rank, was left in 
the free possession of his conscience and his throne." Gibbon, Chap. xxv. 

" f/ne sorte d'tnviolabilite de fait demeurait acquise a Basile a Cesaree comme a Athanase a Alexandrie.^* De Broglie. 

4 Quoted by Gibbon I.e. from Jerome's Chron. A.D, 3S0, and acknowledged by him to be not in Scaliger's edition. The 
Benedictine editors of Jerome admit it, but refer it to Photinus. cf. D.C.B. i. 2SS. 

fi Hist. Christ, iii. 45. 6 Greg. Naz., Ep. xlvii, ^ cf. Maran, Vit. Bas- xxiii. 4. 

8 Greg. Naz., Or. xliii. 58, and Ep. xlviii. Bas., Epp. Ixxiv., Ixxv., Ixxvi. 




there is no reason to suppose him to have been Apeiavos, or Arian. He probably looked askance at the orthodoxy of Masil. 
Basil would never have called him 6ju,6i|>ux<*5 (-^/' ccx. 5) if he had been unsound on the incarnation, cf. Baronius, Act. Sane. 
Maf. ii. p. 394. 

^0 Ep. xcviii., but see note, p. 182, on the doubt as to this allusion. 

1' Greg. Naz., with grim humour, objects to be sent to Sasima to fight for Basil's supply of sucking pigs and poultry from 
St. Orestes. Ep. xlviii. 

12 •« Nyssa was more clearly than either Sasima or Doara a part of Cappadocia Secunda ; it always retained its ecclesiastical 
dependence on Caesarea, but politically it must have been subject to Tyana from 372 to 536, and afterwards to Mokissos. 
All three were apparently places to which Basil consecrated bishops during his contest with Anthimus and the civil power. 
His bishop of Nyssa, his own brother Gregory, waa ejected by the dominant Arians, but the eminence and vigour of Gregory 



xxvi BASIL. 

Gregory speaks of it with contempt, and almost with disgust,^ and never seems to have 
for<y?ven his old friend for forcing him to accept the responsibility of the episcopate, and in 
SLicli a place. '^ Gregory resigned the distasteful post,^ and w^ith very bitter feelings. The 
utmost that can be said for Basil is that just possibly he was consulting for the interest of 
the Church, and meaning to honour his friend, by placing Gregory in an outpost of peril 
and difficulty, in the kingdom of heaven the place of trial is the place of trust.'' But, 
unfortunately for the reputation of the archbishop, the war in this case was hardly the 
Holy War of truth against error, and of right against wrong. It was a rivalry between 
official and official, and it seemed hard to sacrifice Gregory to a dispute between the claims 
of the metropolitans of Tyana and Caesarea.* 

Gregory the elder joined in persuading his son. Basil had his way. He won a con- 
venient suffi-agan for the moment. But he lost his friend. The sore was never healed, 
and even in tlie great funeral oration in which Basil's virtues and abilities are extolled, 
Gregory traces the main trouble of his chequered career to Basil's unkindness, and owns 
to feeling the smart still, though the hand that inflicted the wound was cold." 



secured his reinstatement and triumphant return. Basil's appointment was thus successful, and the connexion always con- 
tinued. His appointment at Sasima was unsuccessful. GrejJ^ory of Nazianzus would not maintain the contest, and Sasima 
passed under the metropolitan of Tyana. At Doara, in like fashion, Basil's nominee was expelled, and apparently never 
reinstated. Ep. ccxxxix. Gresf. Naz. Or., xiii," Ramsay, Hist. Geog, of A.M. 305. 

1 As in Carm. De Vita Sua : 

l.Ta0ix6<; Ti? itTTiv ev fieajj \e(a<f>6p(a ** A post town on the king's hig^h road, 

T^? KannaSoKiav 6? (tx^C^t' et? Tpicrarjv oBov, Where three ways meet, is my abode; 

'AvvSpo-;, axAovs, ov6' oAw? e\ev0epo<;. No brooklet, not a blade of grass, 

Aeivw? iiT^vKTov Koi aTevov *cw/iAu6pcov, Enlivens the dull hole, alas! 

Koi/is tA ndvTa, koX ^6<f>0L, avv apfiaa-i, Dust, din, all day; the creak of wheels; 

©p/jvoi, crrei'ayjuioi, TrpaxTope?, o-Tpe'^Aai, neSaf Groans, yells, the exciseman at one's heels 

Aabs 8' 6(Toc feVoi re /cat nKavdj/xevoi, With screw and chain; the population 

AvTY] l,acTiix<i}v To>v eijiu)i> eK/cArjcria. A shifting horde from every nation. 

[N.B. — The last line marks the quantity.] A viler spot you long may search, 

Than this Sasima, now my church! " 

2 It is curious that a place which had so important a connexion with Gregory the divine should have passed so com- 
pletely into oblivion. From it he derived his episcopal rank. His consecration to Sasima was the main ground of the 
objection of his opponents at Constantinople in 3S1 to his occupying the see of the imperial city. He was bishop of Sasima, 
and, by the fifteenth Canon of Nicaea, could not be transferred to Constantinople. He never was bishop of Nazianzus, 
though he did administer that diocese before the appointment of Eulalius in 3S3. But while the name "Gregory of 
Nazianzus" has obscured the very existence of his father, who was really GreL'ory of Nazianzus, and is known even to the 
typical schoolboy, Gregory has never been described as *' Gregory of Sasima." " The great plain which extends from Sasima 
nearly to Soandos is full of underground houses and churches, which are said to be of immense extent. The inhabitants are 
described by Leo Diaconus (p. 35) as havina: been originally named Troglodytes. . . . Every house in Hassa Keni has an 
underground story cut out of the rock ; long narrow passages connct the underground rooms belonging to each house, and 
also run from h(-use to house. A big solid disc of stone stands in a niche outside each underground house door, ready to be 
pulled in front of the door on any alarm. . . . Sasima w^as on the road between Nazianzus and Tyana. The distances point 
certainly to Hassa Keni. . . . An absolutely unhistorical legend about St. Makrina is related at Hassa Keni. Recently a 
good-sized church has been built in the villasje. evidently on the site of an ancient church; it is dedicated to St. Makrina, who, 
as the village priest relates, fled hither from Kaisari to escape marriage, and to dedicate herself to a saintly life. The under- 
ground cell in which she lived is below the church." Ramsay, Hist. Geog. of Asia Minor, pp. 293, 294. Paul Lucas identi- 
ned Sasima with Inschesu. 3 cf. Greg. Naz. £/>. 1. 

* rf. De Joinville's happy illustration of this in Histoire du roi Saint Louis, p. iS. Ed. 1617. The King of France 
would shew more confidence in the captain whom he might choose to defend La Rochelle, close to the English pale, than in 
the keeper of Monthlery, in the heart of the realm. 

^ KX. the same time it is disappointing to find Gregory mixing up with expressions of reluctance to assume awful 
responsibilities, objections on the score of the disagreeable position of Sasima. Perhaps something of the sentiments of Basil 
on this occasion may be inferred from what he says in Letter cii. on the postponement of private to public considerations in the 
case of the appointment of Poemenius to Satala. 

6 Or. xliii. cf. Newman, The Church of the Fathers,'^. 142, where the breach is impartially commented on : " An ascetic, 
like Gregory, ought not to have complained of the country as deficient in beauty and interest, even though he might be allowed 
to feel the responsibility of a situation which made him a neighbour of Anthimus. Yet such was his infirmitv; and he repelled 
the accusations of his mind against himself by charging Basil with unkindness in placing him at Sasima. On the other hand, 
it is possible that Basil, in his eagerness for the settlement of his exarchate, too little consulted the character and taste of 
Gregory; and, above all, the feelings of duty which bound him to Nazianzus. . . . Henceforth no letters, which are pre- 
served, passed between the two friends; nor are any acts of intercourse discoverable in their history. Anthimus appointed a 
rival bishop to Sasima; and Gregory, refusing to co'ntest the see with him, returned to Nazianzus. Basil laboured by himself. 
Gregory retained his feelings of Basil's unkindness even after his death. . . . This lamentable occurrence took place 
eight or nine years before Basil's death; he had, before and after it, many trials, many sorrows; but this probably was the 
greatest of all." The statement that no letters which are preserved passed between the two friends henceforth will have to be 
modified, if we suppose Letter clxix. to be addressed to Gregory the Divine. But Professor Ramsay's arguments {Hist. 
Geog. of Asia Minor, p. 293) in favour of Gregory of Nazianzus the elder seem irresistible. 

On Letter c\\{x. he writes : "For topographical purposes it is necessary to discover who was the Gregory into whose 
diocese Glycerius fled. Tillemont considers that either Gregory of Nyssa or Gregory of Nazianzus is meant. But the tone of 
the letter is not what we inisrht expect if Basil were writing to' either of them. It is not conceived in the spirit of authority in 
which Basil wrote to his brother or to his friend. It appears to me to show a certain deference which, considering the resolute, 
itnperious, and uncompromising character of Basil (seen especially in his behaviour to Gregory Nazianzen in the matter of the 
bishopric of Sasima), I can explain only on the supposition that he is writing to the aged and venerable Gregory, bishop of 
Nazianzos. Then the whole situation is clear. Venasa was in the district of Malakopaia, or Suvermez, towards the limits of 
the diocese of Caesareia. The adjoining bishopric was that of Nazianzos. Venasa being so far from Caesareia was adminis- 
tered by one of the fifty chorepiscopi whom Basil h.ad under him (Tillemont, Mem. p. servir, etc., ix. p. 120), and the authority 
of Basil was appealed to only in the final resort. Glycerius, when Basil decided against him, naturally fled over the border 
into the diocese of Nazianzos.'' (There is, however, not much reverence in Letter clxxi.) 

*' Comment Vhomme qui avait tant soiiffert de V injustice des autres, put-il it re injuste envers son meillettr ami? 
Uamilie est de tons les pays. Partout, on voit des hommes qui semhlent nes l*un pour /'autre, se rapprocher par une estiine 




A , . . _ . . 

soutten, s atment mains pour eux memes, que pour rivaliser de vertu, se devouer ensemble, sWmmoler s'i/ le faut, au h 
public. . . . C'est cctte ainitie de devouement et de sacrifice, qu'au milieu de la mollesse du IVme siecle, Basile congoit pc 



pour 



PROLEGOMENA. xxvii 



With Anthimus peace was ultimately established. Basil vehemently desired it.^ 
Eusebius of Samosata again intervened. '^ Nazianzus remained for a time subject to 
Cagsarea, but vs^as eventually recognised as subject to the Metropolitan of Tyana.^ 

The relations, however, between the two metropolitans remained for some time 
strained. When in Armenia in 372, Basil arranged some diflerences between the bishops 
of that district, and dissipated a cloud of calumny hanging over Cyril, an Armenian 
bishop." He also acceded to a request on the part of the Church of Satala that he would 
nominate a bishop for that see, and accordingly appointed Poemenius, a relation of his 
own.* Later on a certain Faustus, on the strength of a recommendation from a pope with 
whom he was residing, applied to Basil for consecration to the see, hitherto occupied by 
Cyril. With this request Basil declined to comply, and required as a necessary prelimi- 
nary the authorisation of the Armenian bishops, specially of Theodotus of Nicopolis. 
Faustus then betook himself to Anthimus, and succeeded in obtaining uncanonical conse- 
cration from him. This was naturally a serious cause of disagreement. * However, by 375, 
a better feeling seems to have existed between the rivals. Basil is able at that date to 
speak of Anthimus as in complete agreement with him.' 

VIII. — St. Basil and Eustathius. 

It was Basil's doom to suffer through his friendships. If the fault lay with himself in 
the case of Gregory, the same cannot be said of his rupture with Eustathius of Sebaste. 
If in this connexion fault can be laid to his charge at all, it was the fault of entering into 
intimacy with an unworthy man. In the earlier days of the retirement in Pontus the 
austerities of Eustathius outweighed in Basil's mind any suspicions of his unorthodoxy.® 
Basil delighted in his society, spent days and nights in sweet converse with him, and 
introduced him to his mother and the happy family circle at Annesi.^ And no doubt 
under the ascendency of Basil, Eustathius, always ready to be all things to all men who 
might be for the time in power and authority', would appear as a very orthodox ascetic. 
Basil likens him to the Ethiopian of immutable blackness, and the leopard who cannot 
change his spots. ^^ But in truth his skin at various periods shewed every shade which 
could serve his purpose, and his spots shifted and changed colour with every change in his 
surroundings.^^ He is the patristic Proteus. There must have been something singularly 
winning in his more than human attractiveness.^^ But he signed almost every creed that 
went about for signature in his lifetime.^^ He was consistent only in inconsistency. It 
was long ere Basil was driven to withdraw his confidence and regard, although his con- 
stancy to Eustath'MS raised in not a few, and notably in Theodotus of Nicopolis, the 
metropolitan of Armenia, doubts as to Basil's soundness in the faith. When Basil was in 
Armenia in 373, a creed was drawn up, in consultation with Theodotus, to be offered to 
Eustathius for signature. It consisted of the Nicene confession, with certain additions re- 
lating to the Macedonian controversy.^* Eustathius signed, together with Fronto and 
Severus. But, when another meeting with other bishops was arranged, he violated his 
pledge to attend. He wrote on the subject as though it were one of only small impor- 
tance.^^ Eusebius endeavoured, but endeavoured in vain, to make peace. ^"^ Eustathius 
renounced communion with Basil, and at last, when an open attack on the archbishop 
seemed the paying game, he published an old letter of Basil's to Apollinarius, written by 
*" la^nnan to layman," many years before, and either introduced, or appended, heretical ex- 
pressions of Apollinarius, which were made to pass as Basil's. In his virulent hostility 
he was aided, if not instigated, by Demosthenes the prefect's vicar, probably Basil's old 
opponent at Caesarea in 372.^^ His duplicity and slanders roused Basil's indignant denunci- 
ation.^^ Unhappily they w^ere not everywhere recognized as calumnies. Among the bitterest 
of Basil's trials was the failure to credit him with honour and orthodoxy on the part of those 

Greo-oire de Nazianze. Fortnee dans les ecoleSy entretenne par Vamour des leltres, elle avail pour hut unique^ non plus la 
patrie, mais Dieu, Uamitie de Greffoire et plus tendre et plus humaine. . . ./la voue sa vie a son ami, mais il en attend 
la vieme cnndescendance, le vihne denouement a ses propres desirs. Basile au contraire, semble prendre ci la lettre ce guWl a 
lu dans Plutarque et dans Xenophon de Vamitie antique.'''' E. Fialon, Et. Hist. In other words, Gre<jory's idea of friend- 
ship was to sacrifice one's self: Basil's to sacrifice one's friend. This is an interesting vindication of Basil, but the cause of 
God was hardly identical with the humiliation of Anthimus. 

1 Ep. xcvii. 3 Greg. Naz., Ep. clii. 6 Epp. cii., ciii. 7 Ep. ccx. 

' Ep. xcviii. * Ep. xcix. 6 Epp, cxx., cxxi., cxxii. 

* Ep. ccxiii. § 3. He had been in early days a disciple of Anus at Alexandria. 9 Id. § 5. 



1" Ep. cxxx. § I. 13 Ep. ccxiiv. § 9. 16 Ep. cxxviii. 

11 <r/. ^/>. ccxiiv. § p. Fialon, ^/. ///*.<r/. 12S. 1* ^/. cxxi., ccxiiv. i^ jp;^. ccxxxvii. 

" Ep. ccxii. § 2. cf. Newman, Hist. Sketches, iii. 20. 1* Ep. ccxiiv. 18 E,pp. ccxxiii., ccxiiv., cclxiii. 



xxviii BASIL. 

from whom he might have expected sympathy and support. An earlier instance of this is 
the feeling shewn at the banquet at Nazianzus ah'eady referred to.^ In later days he was 
cruelly troubled by the unfriendliness of his old neighbours at Neocaesarea/ and this alien- 
ation would be the more distressing inasmuch as Atarbius, the bishop of that see, appears 
to have been Basil's kinsman.^ He was under the suspicion of Sabellian unsoundness. He 
slighted and slandered Basil on several apparently trivial pretexts, and on one occasion 
hastened from Nicopolis for fear of meeting him.* He expressed objection to supposed 
novelties introduced into the Church of C^esarea, to the mode of psalmody practised there, 
and to the encouragement of ascetic life.^ Basil did his utmost to win back the Neocaisare- 
ans from their heretical tendencies and to their old kindly sentiments towards himself. 

The clergy of Pisidia and Pontus, where Eustathius had been specially successful in 
alienating the district of Dazimon, were personally visited and won back to communion.* 
But Atarbius and the Neocasareans were deaf to all appeal, and remained persistently 
irreconcilable.' On his visiting the old home at Annesi, where his youngest brother Petrus 
was now residing, in 375, the Neocsesareans were thrown into a state of almost ludicrous 
panic. They fled as from a pursuing enemy.® They accused Basil of seeking to win their 
regard and support from motives of the pettiest ambition, and twitted him with travelling 
into their neighbourhood uninvited.* 

IX. — Unbroken Friendships. 

Brighter and happier intimacies were those formed with the older bishop of Samosata, 
the Eusebius who, of all the many bearers of the name, niost nearly realised its meaning,^" 
and with Basil's junior, Amphilochius of Iconium. With the former, Basil's relations 
were those of an affectionate son and of an enthusiastic admirer. The many miles that 
stretched between Cssarea and Samosata did not prevent these personal as well as 
epistolary communications.^^ In 372 they were closely associated in the eager eflbrts of the 
orthodox bishops of the East to win the sympathy and active support of the West.^^ In 
374 Eusebius was exiled, with all the picturesque incidents so vividly described by 
Theodoret.^* He travelled slowlv from Samosata into Thrace, but docs not seem to have 
met either Gregorv or Basil on his wav. Basil contrived to continue a correspondence 
with him in his banishment. It was more like that of young lovers than of elderly bishops." 
The friends deplore the hindrances to conveyance, and are eager to assure one another 
that neither is guilty of forgetfulness.^^ 

The friendship with Amphilochius seems to have begun at the time when the young 
advocate accepted the invitation conveyed in the name of Heracleidas,^® his friend, and 
repaired from Ozizala to Cassarea. The consequences were prompt and remarkable. 
Amphilochius, at this time between thirty and forty years of age, was soon ordained and 
consecrated, perhaps, like Ambrose of Milan and Eusebius of C^sarea,^^r saltumi to the 
important see of Iconium, recently vacated by the death of Faustinus. Henceforward the 
intercourse between the spiritual father and the spiritual son, both b}^ letters and by 
visits, was constant. The first visit of Amphilochius to 'Basil, as bishop, probably at 
Easter 374, not only gratified the older prelate, but made a deep impression on the 
Church of C^esarea.^^ But his visits were usually paid in September, at the time of the 
services in commemoration of the martyr Eupsychius. On the occasion of the first of 
them, in 374, the friends conversed together on the doctrine of the Holy Spirit, now im- 
pugned by the Macedonians, and the result was the composition of the treatise De 
Spiritu Sancto. This was closely followed by the three famous canonical epistles,^^ 
also addressed to Amphilochius. Indeed, so great was the affectionate confiJence of the 
great administrator and theologian ^^ in his younger brother, that, when infirmities were clos- 
ing round him, he asked Amphilochius to aid him in the administration of the archdiocese.'^^ 

If we accept the explanation givenof Letter CLXIX. in a note on a previous page,^^ Greg- 
ory the elder, bishop of Nazianzus, must be numbered among those of Basil's correspon- 
dents letters to whom have been preserved. The whole episode referred to in that and in the 
two following letters is curiously illustrative of ou tbursts of fanaticism and folly which might 

M vi. s^.ccx. §4. 6^. ccvii. » JE^/^/^. Ixv., xxvi., ccx. 

» Epp. cciv., ccvii. * Ep. cxxvi. e Epp. cciii. and ccxvi. « Ep. ccxvi. 

^ fP' . 10 Bp. 111361. <■/. Gre^. Naz, 2;/. xxviii. and xxix., and Theod., ^cc. /T/V/. xxvii. 

11 In .^69, it is to the prayers of Eusehius. under the divine ta^race. that Basil refers his partial recovery from 
sickness (Ep. xxvii.), and sends Hypatius to Samosata in hope of similar blessing. (Ep. xxxi.) 

12 ^;>. xcii. _ ^-i Ecc. Hist, iv.-i A. " r/. Principal Reynolds in Z).C.^. i. 372. 

15 Epp. civil., clviii., clxii., clxvii., clxviii., cxcviii., ccxxxvii., ccxxxix., ccxii., cclxviii. I'i Ef>. cl. 

" Epp. clxiii., clxxvi. lo " Pace Eunomii," whom Greg, of Nyssa quotes. C. Eunom. i. 

18 Epp. clxxxviii., cxcix., ccxvii. *o Ep. cc, cci. 21 § vili. 



PROLEGOMENA. xxix 



have been expected to occur in Cappadocia In the fourth century, as well as in soberer 
reofions in several other centuries w^hen thev have occurred. It has been clothed witli fresh 
interest by the very vivid narrative of Professor Ramsay, and by the skill with which he 
uses the scanty morsels of evidence available to construct the theory which he holds 
about it.^ This theory is that the correspondence indicates a determined attempt on 
the part of the rigidl}' orthodox archbishop to crush proceedings which were reallv ''' only 
keeping up the customary ceremonial of a great religious meeting," and, as such, were 
winked at, if not approved of, by the bishop to whom the letter of remonstrance is 
addressed, and the presbyter who was Glycerins' sujDerior. Valuable information is fur- 
nished by Professor Ramsay concerning the great annual festival in honour of Zeus of 
Venasa (or Venesj), whose shrine was richly endowed, and the inscription discovered 
on a Cappadocian hill-top, *' Great Zeus in heaven, be propitious to me." But the 
" evident sympathy " of the bishop and the presbyter is rather a strained inference from the 
extant letters; and the fact that in the days when paganism prevailed in Cappadocia 
Venasa was a gre it religious centre, and the scene of rites in which women played an im- 
portant part, is no conclusive proof that wild dances performed by an insubordinate deacon 
were tolerated, perhaps encouraged, because they represented a popular old pagan obser- 
vance. Glycerins may have played the patriarch, without meaning to adopt, or travesty, 
the style of the former high priest of Zeus. Cappadocia was one of the most Christian 
districts of the empire long before Basil was appointed to the exarchate of Cassarea, and 
Basil is not likely to have been the first occupant of the see who would strongly disapprove 
of, and endeavour to repress, any such manifestations as those which are described.^ 
That the bishop whom Basil addresses and the presbyter served by Glycerins should have 
desired to deal leniently with the offender individually does not convict them of accepting 
the unseemly proceedings of Glycerins and his troupe as a pardonable, if not desirable, 
survival of a picturesque national custom.^ 

Among other bishops of the period with whom Basil communicated by letter are Abra- 
mlus, or Abraham, of Batnas in Osrhoene," the ilhistj'ious Athanasius,* and Ambrose,^ Athan- 
asius of Ancyra;^ Barses of Edessa,^ who died in exile in Egypt; Elpidius,® of some 
unknown see on the Levantine seaboard, who supported Basil in the controversy with 
Eustathius ; the learned Epiphanius of Salamis ; ^*^ Meletius," the exiled bishop of Antioch ; 
Patrophihis of JE'^se; ^^ Petrus of Alexandria ; ^^ Theodotus of Nicopolis,^^ and Ascholius 
of Thessulonica.^^ 

Basil's correspondence was not, however, confined within the limits of clerical clan- 
ship. His extant letters to laymen, both distinguished and undistinguished, shew that he 
was in touch with the men of mark of his time and neighbourhood, and that he found time 
to express an affectionate interest in the fortunes of his intimate friends. 

Towards the later years of his life the archbishop's days were darkened not only by ill- 
health and anxiety, but by the death of some of his chief friends and allies. Athanasius died 
in 373, and so far as personal living influence went, there was an extinction of the Pharos 
not of Alexandria only, but of the world. ^^ It was no longer " Athanasius contra mun- 
dum^*^^ but ^^ M'tndus sine Afhanasio.^' In 374 Gregory the elder died at Nazianzus, and 
the sama year siw the banishment of Eusebius of Samosata to Thrace. In 375 died 
Tiieodotus of Nicopolis, and the succession of Pronto was a cause of deep sorrow. 

1 Ramsay's Church of the Roman Empire^ ch:ip. xviii. 

2 The description of Cjesarea, as being " Christian to a man" (rrai'Srj/i.el ^pio'Tiai't^oi'Ta?. Soz. v. 4), would apply pretty 
generally to all the prov^ince. 

* In thi chipcer in which Professor Ramsay discusses the story of Glycerins he asks how it was that, while Phrygria 
was heretical, Cappadocia, in the fourth century, was orthodox : "Can any reason be suarg^ested why tliis great Cnppadocian 
leider followi I thi R">man Church, whereas all the most s'^riking' fig-ures in Phryi^ian ecclesiastical history opposed it ?" In 
Phryi^ia was the s^reat centre of Mmtanism, a form of relii^ionism not unfavourable to excesses such as those of Glycerins. 
But in Letter cciv,, pi ice I in X]^, Basil claims both the Phryy^ias, i.e. Pacatiana and Sulutaiis, as being- in communion with 
him. By tie "Roman Church," followed by Cappidocia and opposed by Phrysjia, must be meant either the ecclesiastical 
system of the Roman Empire, or the Church at Rome regarded as holding a kind of hegemony of Churches. If ihe former, 
it will be reinemhered that Cappadocia b^^Idly withstood the creed patronized and pressed by imperial authority, when the 
induence of Valens made Arianism the cfficiil religion of Rome. If the latter, the phrase seems a misleading anachronism. 
In tiie fourth century there was no following or opposin'g the Church of Rome as we understand the phrase. To the 
bishop of Rome w.is conceded a certain personal precedence, as bishop of the capital, and he was beginning to claim more. 
In the West there was the dignity of the only western apostolic see, and the Church of Rome, as a society, was eminently 
ortho lox and respectable. But, as important ecclesiastical centres, Antioch and Alexandria were far ahead of Rome, and the 
pope of Alexandria occupied a greater place than the pope of Rome. What Basil was eager to follow was not any local 
church, but the Faith which he understood to be the true and Catholic Faith, i.e., the Faith of Nicaea. There was no church of 
Rome in the sense of one organized oecumenical society governed by a central Italian authority. Basil has no idea of any such 
thing as a Roman supremacv. cf. Letter ccxiv. and note. ' * Ep. cxxxii. 



6 Epp. Ixi., Ixvi., Ixvii., Ixix., Ixxx., Ixxxii. " ^P' ccli-t ccv., ccvi. ^2 Ejip ccxHv,, ccl. 

6 Ep. cxcvii. '" Ep. cclviii. '3 £pp. cxxxiii., ccl 

' Ep. xxiv. " ^PP- Ivii., Ixviii., Ixxxix., cxx., cxxix., ccxvi. 



8 Epp. cclxiV.. cclxvii. ** Epp. cxxi., cxxx. i-* EPP' cliv., clxiv., clxv. i'' cf. Epp. Ixxxii. and note. 

1' Tii proveroial expression is conjectured by D-^an Stanley to be derived from the Latin versioa of the famous passage 
concerning Athanasius in Hooker, Ecc. Pol. v. 42. Vide Stanley, Grk. CAurcA, lect. vii. 



XXX BASIL. 

At this time^ some short solace would come to the Catholics in the East in the 
synodical letter addressed to the Orientals of the important synod held in Illyria, under the 
authority of Valentinian. The letter which is extant^ is directed against the Macedonian 
heresy. The charge of conveying it to the East was given to the presbyter Elpidins.^ 
Valentinian sent with it a letter to the bishops of Asia in which persecution is forbidden, 
and the excuse of submission to the reigning sovereign anticipated and condemned. Al- 
though the letter runs in the names of Valentinian, Valens, and Gratian, the western 
brother appears to condemn the eastern.* 

X. — Troubles of the Closing Years. 

The relief to the Catholic East was brief. The paroxysm of passion which caused Val- 
entinian to break a blood-vessel, and ended his life,^ ended also the force of the imperial 
rescript. The Arians lifted their heads again. A council was held at Ancyra,® in which 
the homoousion was condemned, and frivolous and vexatious charges were brought 
against Gregory of Nyssa.' At Cyzicus a Semiarian synod blasphemed the Holy Spirit.® 
Similar proceedings characterized a synod of Antioch at about the same time.® Gregory of 
Nyssa having been prevented by illness from appearing before the synod of Ancyra, 
Eustathius and Demosthenes persisted in their efforts to wound Basil through his 
brother, and sumiuoned a synod at Nyssa itself, where Gregory was condemned in his 
absence and deposed. ^^ He was not long afterwards banished.'^ On the other hand the 
Catholic bishops were not inactive. Synods were held on their part, and at Iconium 
Amphilochius presided over a gathering at which Basil was perhaps present himself, and 
where his treatise on the Holy Spirit was read and approved. ^^ The Illyrian Council was 
a result incommensurate with Basil's passionate entreaties for the help of the w^esterns. 
From tire midst of the troubles which beset the Eastern Church Basil appealed, ^^ as he had 
appealed before,^* for the sympathy and active aid of the other half of the empire. He was 
bitterly chagrined at the failure of his eutreaties for support, and began to suspect that the 
neglect he complained of was due to coldness and to pride. ^^ It has seemed to some that 
this coldness in the West was largely due to resentment at Basil's non-recognition of the 
supremacy of the Roman see.^® In truth the supremacy of the Roman see, as it has been 
understood in later times, was hardly in the horizon. ^^ No bishop of Rome had even been 
present at Nicsea, or at Sardica, where a certain right of appeal to his see was conceded. 
A bishop of Rome signed the Sirmian blasphemy. No bishop of Rome was present 
to sav^e 'the world' from the lapse of Ariminum. Julian *' might seem to have for- 
gotten that there was such a city as Rome. " ^^ The great intellectual Arian war was fought 
out without any claim of Rome to speak. Haifa century after Basil's death great orientals 
were quite unconscious of this supremacy.'^ At Chalcedon the measure of the growing 
claim is aptly typified by the wish of Paschasinus of Lilybaeum, one of the representatives 
of Leo, to be regarded as presiding, though he did not preside. The supremacy is hardly 
in view even at the last of the four great Councils. 

In fact the appeal of Basil seems to have failed to elicit the response he desired, not so 
much from the independent tone of his letters, which was only in accordance with the re- 
cognised facts of the age, ^"^ as from occidental suspicions of Basil's orthodoxy, ^^ and from the 
failure of men, who thought and wrote in Latin, to enter fully into the controversies con- 
ducted in a more subtle tongue. ^'^ Basil had taken every precaution to ensure the convey- 
ance of his letters by messengers of tact and discretion. He had deprecated the advocacy 
of so simple-minded and undiplomatic an ambassador as his brother Gregory. ^^ He 

1 The date of the Council is, however, disputed. Pasfi is for 373, Cave for 367. Hefele and Ceillier are satisfied of the 
correctness of 375. cf. D.C. A. i.Sii. ^ Theod., JScc. //tst. iv.S. s Mansi, iii, 3S6. Hefele, § 90. 

* Theod., H.E. iv. 7. 7 Ep. ccxxv. i*' Ep. ccxxxvii. 

6 Nov. 17, xj'^. Amm. Marc. xxx. 6. Soc. iv. 31. 8 jfp^ ccxiiv. 11 Greg., Vit. Mac. ii. 192. 

8 Mansi, iii. 499. Hefele, §90. 9 Soc. v. 4. 

12 Ep. ccii., cclxxii. Hefele, § 90, Mansi, iii. 502-506. There is some doubt as to the exact date of this synod, cf. 
/J.C.^.i S07. 13 ^/>. ccxliii. 1* ^/>. Ixx., addressed in 371 to Damasus. i'' Z^". ccxxxix. 

i" cf. D. C.B. i. 294 : ** C^est esprit, conciliant aux les orientaux jiisqu''a soulex^er V intolerance orientate, est aiissi injlex- 
ible avec les occidentaux qti'avec le poavoir imperial. On sent dans ses lettres la revolte de Vorient qui reclame ses prcrnga. 
fives, ses droits d'anciennete ; Vesprit d^independjxnce de la Gri'ce, qui, si elle supporte le joug materiel de Rome, refuse de 
reconnoitre sa suprematie spirituelle.''^ Fialon, Et. Hist. 133. 

^1 cf, note on § ix. i* Milman, Lot. Christ, i 85. " cf. Proleg;-. to Theodoret in this series, p. 9, note. 

'" J4 ses yenx, rprient et P Occident ne sont its pas, deux freres, dont les droits snnt egaux, sans suprematie. sans 
ainesse ? " Fialon. Et. Hist. p. 134. This is exactly what East and West were to most eves, and what they were ;i-^serted to 
be in the person of the two imperial capitals by the Twenty-Eig^hth Canon of Chalcedon. cf. Bright, Canons of the First Four 
General Councils, pp. 93, 192, and note on Theodoret in tbis series, p. 293. 

*i Ep. cclxvi. § 2. " (f^ Ep. ccxiv. § 4, p. 254. '3 Ep. ccxv. 



PROLEGOMENA. xxxi 



had poured out his very soul in entreaty.^ But all was unavailing. He suffered, and he had 
to suffer unsupported by a human sympathy on which he thought he had a just claim. '^ 

It is of a piece with Basil's habitual silence on the general affairs of the empire 
that he should seem to be insensible of the shock caused by the approach of the Goths in 
378. A letter to Eusebius in exile in Thrace does shew at least a consciousness of a dis- 
turbed state of the country, and he is afraid of exposing his courier to needless danger by 
entrusting him with a present for his friend. But this is all.^ He may have written letters 
shewing an interest in the fortunes of the empire which have not been preserved. But his 
whole soul was absorbed in the cause of Catholic truth, and in the fate of the Church. His 
youth had been steeped in culture, but the work of his ripe manhood left no time for the 
literary amusement of the dilettante. So it may be that the intense earnestness with 
which he said to himself, " This one thing I do," of his work as a shepherd of souls, and a 
fighter for the truth, and his knowledge that for the doing of this work his time was short, 
accounts for the absence from his correspondence of many a topic of more than contemporary 
interest. At all events, it is not difficult to descry that the turn in the stream of civil history 
was of vital moment to the cause which Basil held dear. The approach of the enemy was 
fraught with important consequences to the Church. The imperial attention was diverted 
from persecution of the Catholics to defence of the realm. Then came the disaster of 
Adrianople,'* and the terrible end of the unfortunate Valens.* Gratian, a sensible lad, of 
Catholic sympathies, restored the exiled bishops, and Basil, in the few months of life yet 
left him, may have once more embraced his faithful friend Eusebius. The end drew rap- 
idly near. Basil was only fifty, but he was an old man. Work, sickness, and trouble had 
worn him out. His health had never been good. A chronic liver complaint was a con- 
stant cause of distress and depression. 

In 373 he had been at death's door. Indeed, the news of his death was actually circu- 
lated, and bishops arrived at Caesarea with the probable object of arranging the succession.^ 
He had submitted to the treatment of a course of natural hot baths, but with small benefi- 
cial result.^ By 376, as he playfully reminds Amphilochius, he had lost all his teeth. ^ At 
last the powerful mind and the fiery enthusiasm of duty were no longer able to stimulate 
the energies of the feeble frame. 

The winter of 378-9 dealt the last blow, and with the first day of what, to us, is now 
the new year, the great spirit fled. Gregory, alas ! was not at the bedside. But he has 
left us a narrative which bears the stamp of truth. For some time the bystanders, thought 
that the dying bishop had ceased to breathe. Then the old strengtli blazed out at the last. 
He spoke with vigour, aild even ordained some of the faithful who were with him. Then 
he lay once more feeble and evidently passing away. Crowds surrounded his residence, 
praying eagerly for his restoration to them, and willing to give their lives for his. With a 
few final words of advice and exhortation, he said; ''Into thy hands I commend my 
spirit," and so ended. 

The funeral was a scene of intense excitement and rapturous reverence. Crowds filled 
every open space, and every gallery and window; Jews and Pagans joined with Christians 
in lamentation, and the cries and groans of the agitated oriental multitude drowned the 
music of the hymns which were sung. The press was so great that several fatal accidents 
added to the universal gloom. Basil was buried in the ""^ sepulchre of his fathers" — a 
phrase which may possibly mean in the ancestral tomb of his family at Caesarea. 

So passed away a leader of men in whose case the epithet ' great ' is no conventional 
compliment. He shared with his illustrious brother primate of Alexandria the honour of 
rallying the Cntholic forces in the darkest days of the Arian depression. He was great as 
foremost champion of a great cause, great in contemporary and posthumous influence, great 
in industry and self-denial, great as a literary controversialist. The estimate formed of 
him by his contemporaries is expressed in the generous, if somewhat turgid, eloquence of 
the laudatory oration of the slighted Gregory of Nazianzus. Yet nothing in Gregory's 



1 See specially Ep. ccxlii. 

2 " Foiled in all his repeated demands; a deaf ear turned to his most earnest entreaties; the council he had beg-sfed for 
not summoned; the deputation he had repeatedly solicited unsent; Basil's span of life drew to its end amid blasted hopes and 
apparently fruitless labours for the unity of the faith. It was not permitted him to live to see the Eastern Churches, for the 
punty of whose faith he had devoted all his powers, restored to peace and unanimity." Canon Venables, D.C.B. i. 295. 

♦' He had to fare on as best he mi^ht, — admiring, courting-, but coldly treated by the Latin world, desiring- the friend- 
ship of Rome, yet wounded by her superciliousness, suspected of heresy by Damasus, and accused by Jerome of pride." 
Newman. Church of the Father Sy,^. 115. 

3 Ep. cclxviii. So Fialon, Et. Hist. p. 1^19: " On n'_y trouve pas un mot siir la desastreicse expedition de Jiilien^ snr le 
hontetix traite de yovieu, sur la revolte de Procof^e.^' At the same time the argument from silence is alvvavs dangerous. It 
may be unfair to charge Basil with indifference to irreat events, because we do not possess his letters about them. 

* Aug. 9, 37S. 5 Theod. iv. 32. Amm. Marc. xxxi. 13. « Ep. cxli. ^ £^^ cxxxvii. « E^. ccxxxii. 



xxxii BASIL. 

eulogy goes beyond the expressions of the prelate who has seemed to some to be "the 
wisest and holiest man in the East in the succeeding century."^ Basil is described by the 
saintly and learned Theodorel ^ in terms that might seem exaggerated when applied to any 
but his master, as the light not of Cappadocia only, but of the world. ^ To Sophronius ^ he 
is the ''glory of the Church." To Isidore of Pelusium,^ he seems to speak as one 
inspired. To the Council of Chalcedon he is emphatically a minister of grace;* 
to the second council of NIcoea a layer of the foundations of orthodoxy.' His death 
lacks the splendid triumph of the martyrdoms of Polycarp and Cyprian. His life lacks 
the vivid incidents which make the adventures of Athanasius an enthralling romance. He 
does not attract the sympathy evoked by the unsophisticated simplicity of Gregory his 
friend or of Gregory Wis brother. There does not linger about his memory the close per- 
sonal interest that binds hiunanitvto Augustine, or the winning loyalty and tenderness (hat 
charm far oft' centuries into affection for Theodoret. Sometimes he seems a hard, almost 
a sour man.^ Sometimes there is a jarring reminder of his jealousy for his own dig- 
nity.^ Evidently he was not a man who could be thwarted without a rupture of pleasant 
relations, or slighted with impunity. In any subordinate position he was not easy to get 
on with.^^ But a man of strong will, convinced that he is championing a righteous cause, 
will not hesitate to s:icrifice, among other things, the amenities that come of amiable 
absence of self-assertion. To Basil, to assert himself was to assert tlie truth of Christ and 
of His Church. And in the main the identification was a true one. Basil was human, and 
occasionally, as in tlie famous dispute with Anthimus, so disastrously fatal to the typical 
friendship of the earlier manhood, he may have failed to perceive that the Catholic cause 
would not suffer from the existence of two metropolitans in Cappadocia. But the great 
archbishop could be an affectionate friend, thirsty for sympathy. ^^ And he was right in 
his estimate of his position. Broadly speaking, Basil, more powerfully than any 
contemporary official, worker, or writer in the Church, did represent and defend 
through all the populous provinces of the empire which stretched from the Bal- 
kans to the Mediterranean, from the y^gean to the Euphrates, the cause whose failure or 
success has been discerned, even by thinkers of no favourable predisposition, to have meant 
death or life to the Church. ^^ St. Basil is duly canonized in the grateful memory, no less than 
in the official bead-roll, of Christendom, and we may be permitted to regret that the exist- 
ing Kalendar of the Anglican liturgy has not found room for so illustrious a Doctor in its 
somewhat niggard list.^^ For the omission some amends have lately ^^ been made in the 
erection of a statue of the great archbishop of Caesarea under the dome of the Cathedral of 
St. Paul in London. ^^ 

II. WORKS. 
The extant works of St. Basil may be conveniently classified as follows : 

y -p. ( {{) Adversus Eunomium. Tlpbr Evvof^tov. 

i. UOGMATIC. I ^jj^ De Spiritu Sancto. VL^pirovUvzviiaroq, 

' (i) In Hexaemej'on. Y:ig -yv'E^arifxepov. 

j-r p 10 J (^0 Homllice on Pss. i., vii., xiv., xxviii., xxix., xxxii., xxxiii., 

} xliv., xlv., xlviii., lix., Ixi., cxiv. 

1^ (iii) Commentary on Isaiah i.— xvi. 

' King-sley, Hypatia, chap. xxx. 5 ^p^ ixi. 9 rf. xcviii. 

2 cf. Gibbon, chap. xxi. 6 cf. Ceillier, vi. 8, I. *° e.j^. liis relations with his predecessor. 

^ Theod., H.E. iv. i6, and Ep. cxlvi. 7 /^. n Ep. xci. 

* Aptid Photium Cod. 2^1. 8 cf. Ep. xxv. , 

^2 e'g. T. Carlyle. " He perceived Christianity itself to have been at stake. If the Arians had wron, it would have dwindled 
away into a legend." J A. F'roude, Life of Carlyle iti London, ii. 462. 

13 In the Greek Kalendar January i, the day of the death, is observed in honour of the saint. In the West St. Basil's 
day is June 14, the traditional date of the consecration. The martyrologies of Jerome and Bede do not contain the name. The 
first mention is ascribed by the Bollandists to Usuard. (Usuard's martyrology was composed for Charles the Bold at Paris.) 
In the tenth century a third day was consecrated in the East to the common commemoration of SS. Basil, Gregory of 
Nazianzus, and John Chrysostom. 1* 1894. 

ij Basil lived at the period when the relics of martyrs and saints were beginning to be collected and honoured, {eg. Ep. 
cxcvii.) To Damasus, the bishop of Rome, whose active sympathy he vainly strove to win, is mainly due the reverent 
rearrangement of the Roman catacombs. {Roma Sotteranea, Northcote and Brownlow, p. 97.) It was not to be expected that 
Basil's own remains should be allowed to rest in peace; but the gap between the burial at Caesarea and the earliest record of 
their supposed reappearance is ^vide. There was a Church of St. Basil at Bruges founded in 1 1S7, which was believed to possess 
some of the archbishop's bones. These were solemnly translated in 146.V to the Church of St. Donutian, which disappeared at 
the time of the French revolution. Pancirola (d. 1599) mentions a head, an arm, and a rib, said to be Basil's, among the 
treasures of Rome. 

16 According to Cassiodorus {Instil. Divin. Lift. Prcefat.) St. Basil wrote in interpretation of the whole of Scripture, 
but this statement lacks confirmation, cf. Maran, Vit. Bas. xU. 



PROLEGOMENA. xxxiii 



f (i) T'ractatus prcevli* 

I (ii) Procemium de Judlcio Dei i\nd De Fide, 

III. Ascetic. \ (iii) Moralia. Td 'H^^/cd. 

I (iv) ^egidcB fusius tractatce. ' pot Kara i^laroq. 
I^and Reg nice brevius tractatce, "Opot mr' kTZLrSuriv. 

( (i) Dogmatic. 

IV. HoMiLETic. XXIV. Homilies. ■< (ii) Moral. 

(_ (iii) Panegyric. 
' (i) Historic, 
(ii) Dogmatic, 
(iii) Moral. 
V. Letters. ■{ (iv) Disciplinary. 

(v) Consolatory, 
(vi) Commendatory. 
(^ (vii) Familiar. 

VI. LiTURGIC. 

I. (i) Against Eunomius, The work under this title comprises five books, the first 
three generally accepted as genuine, the last two sometimes regarded as doubtful. Greg- 
ory of Nazianzus,^ Jerome,^ and Theodoret ^ all testify to Basil's having written against 
Eunomius, but do not specify the number of books. Books IV. and V. are accepted by 
Bellarmine, Du Pin, Tillemont, and Ceillier, mainly on the authority of the edict of Jus- 
tinian against the Three Chapters (Mansi ix., 552), the Council of Seville (Mansi x., 
566) and the Council of Florence (Hardouin ix., 200). Maran ( Vlt, Bas. xliii.) speaks 
rather doubtfully. Bohringer describes them as of suspicious character, alike on grounds 
of style, and of their absence from some MSS. They may possibly be notes on the con- 
troversy in general, and not immediately directed against Eunomius. Fessler's conclusion 
is ^'' Major tamen eruditorutn pars eos etiatn geiiuinos esse censct.^' 

The year 364 is assigned for the date of the publication of the three books.* At that 
time Basil sent them with a few words of half ironical depreciation to Leontius the 
sophist.^ He was now about thirty-four years of age, and describes himself as hitherto 
inexperienced in such a kind of composition.^ Eunomius, like his illustrious opponent, 
was a Cappadocian. Emulous of the notoriety achieved by Aetius the Anomoean, and 
urged on by Secundus of Ptolemais, an intimate associate of Aetius, he went to Alexan- 
dria about 356, and resided there for two years as Aetius' admiring pupil and secretary. 
In 358 he accompanied Aetius to Antioch, and took a prominent part in the assertion of 
the extreme doctrines which revolted the more moderate Semiarians. He was selected as 
the champion of the advanced blasphetners, made himself consequently obnoxious to Con- 
stantius, and was apprehended and relegated to Migde in Phrygia. At the same time 
Eudoxius withdrevy for a while into Armenia, his native province, but ere long was re- 
stored to the favour of the fickle Constantius, and was appointed to the see of Constanti- 
nople in 359. Eunomius now was for overthrowing Aetius, and removing whatever 
obstacles stood between him and promotion, and, by the infiuence of Eudoxius, was nomi- 
nated to the see of Cyzicus, vacant by the deposition of Eleusius. Here for a while he 
temporized, but ere long displayed his true sentiments. To answer for this he was sum- 
moned to Constantinople by Constantius, and, in his absence, condemned and deposed. 
Now he became more marked than ever in his assertion of the most extreme Arianism, 
and the advanced party were henceforward known under his name. The accession of 
Julian brought him back with the rest of the banished bishops, and he made Constanti- 
nople the centre for the dissemination of his views.' 

Somewhere about this period he wrote the work entitled Apologetlcus^ In twenty-eight 
chapters, to which Basil replies. The title was at once a parody on the Apologies of de- 
fenders of the Faith, and, at the same time, a suggestion that his utterances were not 
spontaneous, but forced from him by attack. The work is printed in Fabricius, Blbi. GrcBC. 
viii. 263, and in the appendix to Migne's Basil. Pat, Gr. xxx. 837.*^ It is a brief treatise, 
and occupies only about fifteen columns of Migne's edition. It professes to be a defence 
of the " simpler creed which is common to all Christians."® 

1 Or. xliii. § 67. ,3 Dial. ii. p. 207 in the ed. of this series. 6 cf. Ep, xx. 

2 De Script. Eccl. 116. ^ Maran, Vit. Bas. viii. 6 i Eunom. i. 
'Theod., HE. ii.25; and Hcpr. Fab. iv. 3. Philost., fI.E. vi. i. 

^ cf. also Basnaije in Cani.'ni L.ectiones antt, i. 172; Fessler, Inst. Pat. i. 507. Dorner, Christologie, i. 853, and 
Bohringer, Kirchengeschichte^ vii. 02. » anKovaTepa. kou kqi-vyi TrdvTtay ni<rTLs. § ?. 



xxxiv BASIL. 

This creed is as follows: "We believe in one God, Father Almighty, of Whom are 
all things: and in one only-begotten Son of God, God the Word, our Lord Jesus Christ, 
through Whom are all things : and in one Holy Spirit, the Comforter." ^ But it is in 
reality like the extant Exposition of the Creed^^ a reading into this '* simpler" creed, 
in itself orthodox and unobjectionable, of explanations which ran distinctly counter to the 
traditional and instinctive faith of the Church, and inevitably demanded corrective explana- 
tions and definitions. 

In the creed of Eunomius the Son is God^ and it is not in terms denied that He 
is of one substance with the Father. But in his doctrinal system there is a practical 
denial of the Creed ; the Son may be styled God, but He is a creature, and therefore, in 
the strict sense of the term, not God at all, and, at best, a hero or demigod. The Father, 
unbegotten, stood alone and supreme; the very idea of "begotten" implied posteriority, 
inferiority, and unlikeness. Against this position Basil ^ protests. The arguments of 
Einiomius, he urges, are tantamount to an adoption of what w^as probably an Arian 
formula, " VVe believe that ingenerateness is the essence of God," ^ i.e.^ we believe that 
the Only-begotten is essentially imlike the Father.^ This word *' unbegotten," of which 
Eunomius and his supporters make so much, what is its real value? Basil admits that it 
is apparently a convenient term for human intelligence to use; but, he urges, "It is no- 
where to be found in Scripture ; it is one of the main elements in the Arian blasphemy ; it 
had better be left alone. The word ' Father*' implies all that is meant by ' Unbegotten,' 
and has moreover the advantage of suggesting at the same time the idea of the Son. He 
Who is essentially Father is alone of no other. In this being of no other is involved the 
sense of 'Unbegotten.' The title 'unbegotten' will not be preferred by us to that of 
Father, unless we wish to make ourselves wiser than the Saviour, Who said, ' Go and 
baptize in the name' not of the Unbegotten, but ' of the Father.' "^ To the Eunomian 
contention that the word " Unbegotten " is no mere complimentary title, but required by 
the strictest necessity, in that it involves the confession of what He is,' Basil rejoins that it 
is only one of many negative terms applied to the Deity, none of which completely ex- 
presses the Divine Essence. " Tliere exists no name which embraces the whole nature of 
God, and is sufficient to declare it ; more names than one, and these of very various kinds, 
each in accordance with its own proper connotation, give a collective idea which may be 
dim indeed and poor when compared with the whole, but is enough for us." ^ The word 
" unbegotten," like " immortal," " invisible," and the like, expresses only negation. " Yet 
essence * is not one of the qualities which are absent, but signifies the very being of God ; 
to reckon this in the same category as the non-existent is to the last degree unreasonable." ^" 
Basil "would be quite ready to admit that the essence of God is unbegotten," but he ob- 
jects to the statement that the essence and the unbegotten are identical. ^^ It is sometimes 
supposed that the Catholic theologians have been hair-splitters in the sphere of the incon- 
ceivable, and that heresy is the exponent of an amiable and reverent vagueness. In the 
Arian controversy it was Arius himself who dogmatically defined with his negative " There 
was when He was not," and Eunomius with his " The essence is the unbegotten." 
" What pride ! What conceit ! " exclaims Basil. " The idea of imagining that one has dis- 
covered the very essence of God most high ! Assuredly in their magniloquence they quite 
throw into the shade even Him who said, 'I will exalt my throne above the stars.' ^^ It is 
not stars, it is not heaven, that they dare to assail. It is in the very essence of the God of 



1 The Creed of Eunomius. 

{Adv. Eunom. i. 4.) 

ni<rTeuo/u.ev ei? cVa ©ebv, IlaTepa TravTOKparopa, ef ou rft Travra. ' 
KoX ei<; eva Movoyevy) 'Yibr tou ©eoO, &eov \6yov, tov Kvptov 
iifjiijiiv lri<TOvv Xpiarbv, dC oi tH Travra* Kal ct? ev Tli/evfxa oiyiov, to 
irapaKAijTov. £unoin., Apol. § 5. 



The Creed of Arius and Euzoius. 

(Soc. H.E. i. 26.) 

IIto"T6UOju.ev ei? eva ©eof Y\.a.ri^a. navroKpaTopa, Kal €i? KvpLov 
Itjctoui' XpicTToc, Toi' 'Yiof avTov, Toi' ef avTOv npo ttclvtiov tcoi' 
aiwvMP yeyevvrip.ei'OVf @eov Aoyov, 5t' ou tBl Travra iyevero to. re ev 
rois oupavots xai tol eirl rfjs yv^, Toy KaTeKGopra, Kal aapKioOei'Tj., 
Kal Tra96vTa, Kal afaaravTa, Kal aveXOofra eis rous ovpavov^ /cac 
Trd\iv ipxoixevou Kplvai ^wvras Kal ve/cpov? * koX ets to ayiov 
Ylvevp-a' Kal eis aapKO^ avaaraaiV Kal ei? ^uirfv row /u.e'AAoi'To? 
aitoi/Q? • Kal ei5 BaeriAei'ai/ ovpavtov ' Ka) ei? fxiav Kado\iKr)v ckkAij- 
aiav Tov Oeov rrjc aTro nepaTuiv ews Treparwj'. 

**E»f^6(n? tt)? TT'crrew?, published in the notes of Valesius to Soc, Ecc. Hist. V. 12. This was offered to Theodosius after 
the Council of Constantinople. The Son is vpijiTOTOKOv Trao-Tj; (crt<rea>s, and Trpb Tracrrjs /cricrew? y^vdix^vov^ but ovk. 6.k.ti<jtov . The 
Holy Ghost is yi.v6p.^vov itno row lAovoytvov^ Kal ... Kadana^ VTroTeTavftevoi', ovre Kara tov Ilarepa oure rco Harpt (Tvvapifiixovfxei'oi' 
ovre roi Ytai avve^LcrovfJ.evoi' ovre ;u,t;v aXAoj rivi crvuTao'aoiJ.evQi' ... npuirov epvov Kal KpaTiarov roO Movoyevov^. cf. St. Au2f.. Dc 
Hcer. liv., *' Eunomius asserted that the Son was altogether dissimilar to the Father and the Spirit to the Son," and Philos- 
trius, De Hcer. Ixviii., who represents the Eunomians as believing in three essences descending in value like gold, silver, and 
copper. Vide Swete, Doctrine of the Holy Ghost, p. 61. 3 Adv. Eiinom. i. 5. 

* TTtcTTeuoiaev rrji/ a.y^vvy\<jiav ovviav €lva<; tov ©eou. For the word a.yevvr\<Tia cf. Letter ccxxxiv. p. 274. 

" Adx>. Eunom. i. 4. « Matt, xxviii. 19. Adv. Eun. i. 5. ^ ^p jy ^qQ elvai. 6 eo-ric oaoAo-yia. Adv. Eunom. i. 8. 

8 Id. i. 10. • ovaia, " Id. " Id. ii. " i.e. Lucifer, cf. Is. xiv. 13. 



PROLEGOMENA. xxxv 



all the world that they boast that they make their haunt. Let us question him as to where 
he acquired comprehension of this essence. Was it from the common notion that all men 
share .?^ This does indeed suggest to us that there is a God, but not what God is. Was it 
from the teaching of the Spirit.^ What teaching.? Where found.? What says great David, 
to whom God revealed the hidden secrets of His wisdom.? He distinctly asserts the unap- 
proachableness of knowledge of Him in the words, ' Such knowledge is too wonderful for 
me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.' ^ And Isaiah, who saw the glory of God, what 
does he tell us concerning the Divine Essence.? In his prophecy about the Christ he says, 
* Who shall declare His generation.?'^ And what of Paul, the chosen vessel, in whom 
Christ spake, who was caught up into the third heaven, who heard unspeakable words, 
which it is not lawful to man to utter.? What teaching has he given us of the essence of 
God.? When Paul is investigating the special methods of the work of redemption ■* he 
seems to grow dizzy before the mysterious maze which he is contempla<^ing, and utters the 
well-known words, ' O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God ! 
How unsearchable are His judgments, and His w^ays past finding out! ' * These things are 
beyond the reach even of those who have attained the measure of Paul's knowledge. 
What then is the conceit of those who announce that they know the essence of God ! I 
should very much like to ask them what they have to say about the earth whereon they 
stand, and whereof they are born. What can they tell us of its 'essence'.? If they can 
discourse without hesitation of the nature of lowly subjects which lie beneath our feet, we will 
believe them when they profler opinions about things which transcend all human intelH- 
gence. What is the essence of the earth.? How can it be comprehended? Let them tell 
us whether reason or sense has reached this point! If they say sense, by which of the 
senses is it comprehended? Sight.? Sight perceives colour. Touch.? Touch distin- 
guishes hard and soft, hot and cold, and the like; but no idiot would call any of these 
essence. I need not mention taste or smell, which apprehend respectively savour and 
scent. Hearing perceives sounds and voices, which have no affinity with earth. They 
must then say that they have found out the earth's essence by reason. What.? In what 
part of Scripture.? A tradition from what saint .?^ 

'' In a word, if any one wishes to realise the truth of what I am urging, kt him ask 
himself this question; when he wishes to understand anything about God, does he ap- 
proach the meaning of ' the unbegotten ' .? I for my part see that, just as when we extend 
our thought over the ages that are yet to come, we say that the life bounded by no limit is 
without end, so is it when we contemplate in thought the ages of the past, and gaze on the 
infinity of the life of God as we might into some unfathomable ocean. We can conceive 
of no beginning from which He originated : we perceive that the life of God always tran- 
scends the bounds of our intelligence ; and so we call that in His life which is without 
origin, unbegotten.' The meaning of the unbegotten is the having no origin from with- 
out." ® As Eunomius made ingenerateness the essence of the Divine, so, with the object 
of establishing the contrast between Father and Son, he represented the being begotten to 
indicate the essence of the Son.* God, said Eunomius, being ingenerate, could never 
admit of generation. This statement, Basil points out, may be understood in either of 
two ways. It may mean that ingenerate nature cannot be subjected to generation. It may 
mean that ingenerate nature cannot generate. Eunomius, he says, really means the latter, 
while he makes converts of the multitude on the lines of the former. Eunomius makes 
his real meaning evident by what he adds to his dictum, for, after saying '' could never 
admit of generation," he goes on, '' so as to impart His own proper nature to the begot- 
ten." ^^ As in relation to the Father, so now in relation to the Son, Basil objects to the 
term. Why *' begotten" .?^^ Where did he get this word.? From what teaching.? From 
what prophet.? Basil nowhere finds the Son called " begotten" in Scripture. ^^ We read 
that the Father begat, but nowhere that the Son was a begotten thing. '' Unto us a child 
is born,^^ unto us a Son is given." ^^ But His name is not begotten things but "angel of 
great counsel." ^^ If this word had indicated the essence of the Son, no other word would 
have been revealed by the Spirit.^® Why, if God begat, may we not call that which was 
begotten a thing begotten.? It is a terrible thing for us to coin names for Him to WHiom 

* On KoivTj evvoia, cf. Origen, C. Cels. i. 4. * tou? ju,epi(cou9 rrj? oiKOfO/xia? Adyou?. ^ Id, i. 16. 

2 Ps. cxxxix. 6. ^ Rom. xi. 33. 6 jj,, \^ j^. o t5 yivvt]\j.a.. Id. ii. 6. 

8 Is. liii. 8. ' toGto to dvap^ov ttj? ^w^? a.yivvf\TOV npotreipriKaixev. ^^ Id. i. 16. 

*i yevvrjfMa, i.e., " thing begotten ; " the distinction between this substantive and the scriptural adjective ju.oi'oyei'jjs must be 
borne in mind. 

" Id. ii. 6. 13 LXX., eyefi/jj^^. " Is. ix. 6. " Id. LXX. " Id. ii. 7. 



xxxvi BASIL. 

God has given a '' name which is above every name.'*^ We must not add to or take from 
what is delivered to us by the Spirit.'-^ Things are not made for names, but names for 
things.^ Eunomius unhappily was led by distinction of name into distinction of being/ 
If the Son is begotten in the sense in which Eunomius uses the word, He is neither be- 
^>-otten of the essence of God nor begotten from eternity. Eunomius represents the Son 
as not of the essence of the Fatlier, because begetting is only to be thought of as a sensual 
act and idea, and therefore is entirely unthinkable in connexion with the being of God. 
*" The essence of God does not admit of begettmg ; no other essence exists for the Son's 
beo-etting; therefore I say that the Son was begotten when non-existent." ^ Basil rejoins 
that no analogy can hold between divine generation or begetting and human generation or 
beo-ettino". " Living beings which are subject to death generate through the operation of 
the senses: but we must not on this account conceive of God in the same manner; nay, 
rather shall we be hence guided to the truth that, because corruptible beings operate in 
this manner, the Incorruptible will operate in an opposite manner."* ''All who have 
even a liniited loyalty to truth ought to dismiss all corporeal similitudes. They must be 
very careful not to sully their conceptions of God by material notions. They must follow 
the theologies' delivered to us by the Holy Ghost. They must shun questions which are 
little better than conundrums, and admit of a dangerous double meaning. Led by the ray 
that shines forth from light to the contemplation of the divine generation, they must think of 
a generation worthy of God, without passion, partition, division, or time. They must 
conceive of the image of the invisible God not after the analogy of images which 
are subsequently fashioned by craft to match their archetype, but as of one nature 
and subsistence with the originating prototype.*^ , . .^ This image is not produced by 
imitation, for the whole nature of the Father is expressed in the Son as on a seal." ^^ *' Do 
not press me with the questions: What is the generation.^ Of what kind was it? In 
what manner could it be effected? The manner is ineffable, and wholly beyond the scope 
of our intelligence ; but we shall not on this account throw away the foundation of our 
faith in Father and Son. If we try to measure everything by our comprehension, and to 
suppose that what we cannot comprehend by our reasoning is wholly non-existent, fare- 
well to the reward of faith ; farewell to the reward of hope ! If we only follow what is 
clear to our reason, how can we be deemed worthy of the blessings in store for the reward 
of faith in things not seen " ? ^^ 

If not of the essence of God, the Son could not be held to be eternal. '' How utterly 
absurd," exclaims Basil, " to deny the glory of God to have had brightness ; ^^ to deny the 
wisdom of God to have been ever with God ! . . . The Father is of eternity. So 
also is the Son of eternity, united by generation to the unbegotten nature of the Father. 
This is not my own statement. I shall prove it by quoting the words of Scripture. Let 
me cite from the Gospel ' In the beginning was the Word.' ^^ and from the Psalm, other 
words spoken as in the person of the Father, ' From the womb before the morning I 
have begotten them.'^* Let us put both together, and say. He was, and He was begotten. 
How absurd to seek for something higher in the case of the unoriginate and the 
unbegotten ! Just as absurd is it to start questions as to time, about priority in the case of 
Him Who was with the Father from eternity, and between Whom and Him that begat 
Him there is no intei*val."^ 

A dilemma put by Eunomius was the following: When God begat the Son, the 
Son either was or was not.^® If He was not, no argument could lie against Eunomius 
and the Arians. If He was, the position is blasphemous and absurd, for that which 
is needs no begetting.^^ 

To meet this dilemma, Basil drew a distinction between eternity and the being 
unoriginate.^^ The Eunomians, from the fact of the unoriginateness of the Father Iteing 
called eternity, maintained that unoriginateness and eternitv are identical. ^^ Because 
the Son is not unbegotten they do not even allow Him to be eternal. But there is a 
wide distinction to be observed in the meaning of the terms. The word unbegotten is 

iPhil.ii. Q. 2 7cf. ii. 8. ild.\\.\. 4 /cf. ii. 3. b/^, ii.iS. 6/^.11.23. 

' On tlie distinction between OeoXoyia and oi/co«'0/u.t'a, cf. p. 7, n. 

* (Tuvvirdpxovaap Kal TTapv<f)ecrTT}Kvlav tuj TrpwTOTUTrw \nro(TTri(TayTL. Expressions of this kind, used even by Basil, may help to 
explain the earlier Nicene sense of vnoaTaa-L';. The Son has, as it were, a parallel hypostasis to that of the Father, Who eternally 
furnishes this liypost:isis. cf. p. 195, n. 

Here the MSS. vary, but the main sense is not affected by the omission of the variant phrase. 
»o Id. ii. 16. cf. De Sp. Scto. § 15, p. 9, and § 84, p. 40, and notes. i' Id. ii. 34. 

" dTravyacr/xa. c/. Heb. i. 13. ^^ Id.W.. \i. ^ ^ "<:/•. />^ 5^. ^^-/i,. pp. 27, 30, and notes. 

1" John i. I. ^^ Htoi ovto. ^yivvrfcrev 6 @eo<; toi/ Ytbv, f; oilcc o^ra. 

1* Ps. ex. 3, LXX. *^ Id. ii. 14. 1^ TavTOv to* avdpx.co to dtStoc. 



PROLEGOMENA. xxxvli 



predicated of that whicli has orisjin of itself, and no cause of its being: the word eternal 
is predicated of that which is in being beyond all time and age.^ Wherefore the Son 
is both not nnbegotten and eternal.^ Eunomius was ready to give great dignity to the 
Son as a supreme creature. He did not hold the essence of the Son to be common to 
that of the things created out of nothing.^ He would give Him as great a preeminence 
as the Creator has over His own created works.^ Basil attributes little importance to 
this concession, and thinks it only leads to confusion and contradiction. If the God of 
the universe, being unbegottcn, necessarily differs from things begotten, and all things 
begotten have their common hypostasis of the non-existent, what alternative is there to 
a natural conjunction of all such things ? Just as in the one case the unapproachable 
effects a distinction between the natures, so in the other equality of condition brings 
them into mutual contact. They say that the Son and all things that came into being 
under Him are of the non-existent, and so far they make those natures common, and 
yet they deny that they give Him a nature of the non-existent. For again, as though 
Eunomius were Lord himself, and able to give to the Only Begotten what rank and dignity 
he chooses, he goes on to argue, — We attribute to Him so much supereminence as 
the Creator must of necessity have over His own creature. He does not say, *' We 
conceive," or .'' We are of opinion," as would be befitting when treating of God, but 
lie says "• We attribute," as though he himself could control the measure of the attri- 
bution. And how much supereminence does he give } As nuich as the Creator must 
UL'cessarily have over His own creatures. This has not yet reached a statement of 
difference of substance. Human beings in art surpass their own works, and yet are 
c oiisubstantial with them, as the potter with his clay, and the shipwright with his 
timber. For both are alike bodies, subject to sense, and earthy.^ Eunomius 
explained the title '^ Only Begotten " to mean that the Son alone was begotten and 
created by the Father alone, and therefore was made the most perfect minister. ** If," 
rejoins Basil, " He does not possess His glory in being perfect God, if it lies only 
in His being an exact and obedient subordinate, in w^hat does He differ from the 
ministering spirits who perform the work of their service without blame ?^ 
Indeed Eunomius joins 'created' to 'begotten' with the express object of shew- 
inof that there is no distinction between the Son and a creature!' And how un- 
worthy a conception of the Father that He should need a sei*vant to do His work ! 
' He commanded and they were created.' ^ What service was needed by Him Who 
creates by His will alone ? But in what sense are all things said by us to be 'through 
the Son ' ? In that the divine will, starting from the prime cause, as it were from a 
source, proceeds to operation through its own image, God the Word." ^ Basil sees 
that if the Son is a creature mankind is still without a revelation of the Divine. He 
sees that Eunomius, " by alienating the Only Begotten from the Father, and altogetlier 
cutting Him off from communion with Him, as far as he can, deprives us of the as- 
cent of knowledge which is made through the Son. Our Lord says that all that is 
the Father's is His.^*^ Eunomius states that there is no fellowship between the Father 
and Him Who is of Him." ^^ If so there is no '"brightness" of glory; no "express 
image of hvpostasis." ^^ So Dorner,^^ who freely uses the latter portion of the 
treatise, "The main point of Basil's opposition to Eunomius is that the word nnbe- 
gotten is not a name indicative of the essence of God, but only of a condition of exist- 
ence.^* The divine essence has other predicates. If every peculiar mode of existence causes 
a distinction in essence also, then the Son cannot be of the same essence with the 
Father, because He has a peculiar mode of existence, and the Father another; and men 
cannot be of the same essence, because each of them represents a different mode of ex- 
istence. By the names of Father, Son, and Spirit, we do not understand different 
essences, (ohalac)-, but they are names which distinguish the virap^ig of each. All are God, 
and the Father is no more God than the Son, as one man is no more man than another. 
Quantitative differences are not reckoned in respect of essence ; the question is only of 
being or non-being. But this does not exclude the idea of a variety in condition in the 

1 ollSlov Se TO xpovov Travrbs Koi attovos Kara to etuai npecr^vTepov, 2 /^. iJ. jg. 

3 Eunomius is therefore not to be ranked with the extreme •• Exucontians." cf. Soc. //.£. ii. 45. 

* Id. ii. 19. s Id. ii. 19. 

* So R.V. distinguishes between the words KeirovpyiKH and SiaKoviav which are confused in A.V. 

"i Id. i. 21. 8 Ps. cxlviii. 5. ^Id.i.2\. 10 c/. John xvii. 10. " A/. 1. iS. 

12 On this brief summary of Basil's controversy with Eunomius, cf. Bohnnger, Kirchengeschichte, vii. 62, seqq, 
^ Christolof^ie, i. 906. ^* to ayeVfijros VTrdp^ews TpoTros xai ouk ouat'as oj/o/xa. Adv. Etinotn, iv. 



xxxviii BASIL. 

Father and the Son (htpcog ex^n'), — the .treneration of the Latter. The dignity of both 
is equal. The essence of Begetter and Begotten is identical."^ 

The Fourth Book contains notes on the chief passages of Scripture which were re- 
lied on by Arian disputants. Among these are 

J Cor, xo, 28. On the Subjection of the Son. 

'' If the Son is subjected to the Father in the Godhead, then He must have 
been subjected from the beginning, from whence He was God. But if He was not sub- 
jected, but shall be subjected, it is in the manhood, as for us, not in the Godhead, as 
for Himself." 

Philipp, ii. g. On the Name above every Name. 

'' If the name above every name was given by the Father to the Son, Who was 
God, and every tongue owned Him Lord, after the incarnation, because of His obedi- 
ence, then before the incarnation He neither had the name above every name nor was 
owned by all to be Lord. It follows then that after the incarnation He was greater 
than before the incarnation, which is absurd." So of Matt, xxviii. 18. *' We must 
understand this of the incarnation, and not of the Godhead." 

John XIV. 28. " My Father is Greater than /." 

*' * Greater ' is predicated in bulk, in time, in dignity, in power, or as cause. The 
Father cannot be called greater than the Son in bulk, for He is incorporeal : nor yet in 
time, for the Son is Creator of times : nor yet in dignity, for He was not made what He 
had once not been : nor yet in power, for ' what things soever the Father doeth, these also 
doeth the son likewise ' : ^ nor as cause, since (the Father) would be similarly greater 
than He and than we, if He is cause of Him and of us. The words express rather the 
honour given by the Son to the Father than any depreciation by the speaker ; moreover 
what is greater is not necessarily of a different essence. Man is called greater than 
man, and horse than horse. If the Father is called greater, it does not immediately fol- 
low that He is of another substance. In a word, the comparison lies between beings of 
one substance, not between those of different substances.^ 

"A man is not properly said to be greater than a brute, than an inanimate thing, 
but man than man, and brute than brute. The Father is therefore of one substance with 
the Son, even though He be called greater.' 



»> 4 



On Matt, dcxiv. 36. Of Knowledge of that Day and of that Hour.^ 

" If the Son is the Creator of the world, and does not know the time of the judgment, 
then He does not know what He created. For He said that He was ignorant not of the 
judgment, but of the time. How can this be otherwise than absurd? 

" If the Son has not knowledge of all things whereof the Father has knowledge, then 
He spake untruly when He said ' All things that the Father hath are mine ' ^ and " As the 
Father knoweth me so know I the Father.' ' If there is a distinction between knowing 
the Father and knowing the things that the Father hath, and if, in proportion as every one 
is greater than what is his, it is greater to know the Father than to know what is His, then 
the Son, though He knew the greater (for no man knoweth the Father save the vSon),® 
did not know the less. ' 

" This is impossible. He was silent concerning the season of the judgment, because it 
was not expedient for men to hear. Constant expectation kindles a warmer zeal for true 
religion. The knowledge that a long interval of time was to elapse would have made men 
more careless about true religion, from the hope of being saved by a subsequent change of 



1 cf. De Sp. Scto. pp. 13, 39, and notes; Thomasius, Dogmengeschichte, i. 245; Herzog, Real-Encycl. " JEunomius und 
EunomtanerJ'* 

* fohn V. 19. 3 e,ri ^^^ oju.ooueriwi' ovk errl t'ov krepoovtrioiv. 

* It will be noted that Basil explains this passage on different grounds from those suggested by the Clause in the 
Athanasian Creed, on which Waterland's remark is that it *' needs no comment." St. Athanasius himself interpreted the 
" minority " not of the humanity, or oT the special subordination of th time when the words were uttered, cj. Ath., Oral. c. 
Ar. i. §SS: "The Son says not * my Father is better than I,' lest we should conceive Him to be foreign to His nature, but 
• greater,' not indeed in size, nor in time, but because of His generation from the Father Himself; nay, in saying 
'greater,' He again shews that He is proper to His essence" (Newman's transl.). The explanation given in. Letter viii., 
p. iiS, does include the inferiority as touching His manhood. 

5 cf. Letter viii. p. i iS. « John xv. 16. » John x. ig. ' Matt. xi. 37. 



PROLEGOMENA. xxxlx 



life. How could He who had known everything up to this time (for so He said) not 
know that hour also? If so, the Apostle vainly said ' In whom are hid all the treasures of 
wisdom and knowledge.' ^ 

"' If the Holy Spirit, who ' searcheth the deep things of God,' '^ cannot be ignorant of 
anything that is God's, then, as they who will not even allow Him to be equal must con- 
tend, the Holy Ghost is greater than the Son." ' 

On Matt. xxvi. jg. Fa the r, if it be Possible , let this Cup pass from Me, 

''If the Son really said, 'Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me,* He not 
only shewed His own cowardice and weakness, but implied that there might be something 
impossible to the Father. The words ' if it be possible ' are those of one in doubt, and not 
thoroughly assured that the Father could save Him. How could not He who gave the 
boon of life to corpses much rather be able to preserve life in the living? Wherefore then 
did not He Who had raised Lazarus and many of the dead supply life to Himself ? Why did 
He ask life from the Father, saying, in His fear, ' Father, if it be possible, let this cup 
pass away from me'? If He was dying unwillingly. He had not yet humbled Himself; 
He had not yet been made obedient to the Father unto death ; * He had not given Himself, 
as the Apostle says, ' who gave Himself for our sins,^ a ransom.' ® If He was dying will- 
ingly, what need of the words ' Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass away ' ? No : this 
must not be understood of Himself; it must be understood of those w^ho were on the point 
of sinning against Him, to prevent them from sinning; when crucified in their behalf He 
said, ' Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.' ^ We must not understand 
words spoken in accordance with the oeconomy ® to be spoken simply." 

On John vi. 57. / live by the Father.^ 

" If the Son lives on account of^^ the Father, He lives on account of another, and not 
of Himself. But He who lives on account of another cannot be Self-life. ^^ So He who is 
holy of grace is not holy of himself. ^^ Then the Son did not speak truly when He said, ' I 
am the life,' ^^ and again, ' the Son quickeneth whom He will.' ^^ We must therefore under- 
stand the words to be spoken in reference to the incarnation, and not to the Godhead." 

On John v. ig. The Son can do Nothing of Himself 

" If freedom of action ^^ is better than subjection to control, ^^ and a man is free, while the 
Son of God is subject to control, then the man is better than the Son. This is absurd. 
And if he who is subject to control cannot create free beings (for he cannot of his own will 
confer on others what he does not possess himself), then the Saviour, since He made us free, 
cannot Himself be under the control of any." 

'' If the Son could do nothing of Himself, and could only act at the bidding of the 
Father, He is neither good nor bad. He was not responsible for anything that was done. 
Consider the absurdity of the position that men should be free agents both of good and 
evil, while the Son, who is God, should be able to do nothing of His own authority ! " 

On John xv. i. I ajjt the Vine. 

" If, say they, the Saviour is a vine, and we are branches, but the Father is husband- 
man ; and if the branches are of one nature with the vine, and the vine is not of one nature 
with the husbandman ; then the Son is of one nature with us, and we are a part of Him, 
but the Son is not of one nature with, but in all respects of a nature foreign to, the Father, 
I shall reply to them that He called us branches not of His Godhead, but of His flesh, as 
the Apostle says, we are 'the body of Christ, and members in particular,"' and again, 
' know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ ?' '^ and in other places, ' as is 



1 Col. ii. 3. « I Cor. ii, lo. 

8 cf. this passage more fully treated of in Letter ccxxxvi. p. 276. The above is rather a tentative memorandum than an 
explanation. 

4 cf. Phil. ii. S. B Gal. i. 4. e Matt. xxi. 2S. 7 Luke xxiii. 34. 

8 cf. pp. 7 and 12. Most commentators that I am acquainted with write on the lines of Bengel. ^* poculum a patre ollatum^ 
tota passionis massa plenum." cf. Athanasius, " the terror was of the flesh." C. Arian. Orat. III., § xxxix., Amphilochius, 
Apud Theo'i. Dial, iii., and Chrysost., Horn, in Matt. Ixxxiii. 

8 cf, Ep. viii. and note on p. 117. '2 ayroayio?. *' to a.vT^^ov<Tiov , 18 i Cor. vi. 15. 

w 5i.a. Vide note referred to. " John xi. 35. I8 ^q uTre^ou'o-toi'. 

" Or underived life. avTo^uj>j. "John v. ai. " i Cor. zii. 27. 



xl BASIL. 

the earthy, such are they that are earthy ; and as Is the heavenly, such are they also that are 
heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, let us all bear the image of the 
heavenly.'^ If the head of the ^ man is Christ, and the head of Christ is God,' ^ and man 
is not of one substance with Christ, Who is God (for man is not God), but Christ is 
of one substance with God (for He is God), therefore God is not the head of Christ in the 
same sense as Christ is the head of man. The natures of the creature and the creative God- 
head do not exactly coincide. God is head of Christ, as Father; Christ is head of us, as 
Maker. If tlie will of the Father is that we should believe in His Son (for this is the 
will of Him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on Him, may 
have everlasting life),' the Son is not a Son of will. That we should believe in Him is 
(an injunction) found with Him, or before Him."* 

On Mark x. j8. There is none Good^ etc. 

*' If the Saviour is not good, He is necessarily bad. For He is simple, and His char- 
acter does not admit of any intermediate quality. How can it be otlierwise than absurd 
that the Creator of good should be bad? And if life is good, and the words of the Son 
are life, as He Himself said, ' the words which I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they 
are life,' ^ in what sense, when He hears one of the Pharisees address Him as good 
Master, does He rejoin, 'There is none good but One, that is God'? It was not when 
He had heard no more than good that he said, ' there is none good,' but when He had 
heard good Master. He answered as to one tempting Him, as the gospel expresses it, 
or to one ignorant, that God is good, and not simply a good master." 

On John xvii. ^, Father, glorify Me, 

" If when the Son asked to be glorified of the Father He was asking in respect of 
His Godhead, and not of His manhood, He asked for what He did not possess. Therefore 
the evangelist speaks falsely when he says 'we beheld His glory';® and the apostle, in 
the words ' They would not have crucified the Lord of glory,' ' and David in the words 
'And the King of glory shall come in.'® It is not therefore an increase of glory which 
he asks. He asks that there may be a manifestation of the oeconomy.^ Again, if He 
really asked that the glory which He had before the world might be given Him of the 
Father, He asked it because He had lost it. He would never have sought to receive that of 
which He was in possession. But if this was the case, He had lost not only the glory, 
but also the Godhead. For the glory is inseparable from the Godhead. Therefore, 
according to Photinus,^'' He was mere man. It is then clear that He spoke these words 
in accordance with the oeconomy of the manhood, and not through failure in the Godhead." 

On Co loss, i, 75. Firstborn of every Creature. 

" If before the creation the Son was not a generated being but a created being," He 
would have been called first created and not firstborn.^ If, because He is called first 

1 1 Cor. XV. 4S, 49: in the last clause Basil reads <f)ope'o-to^e^, instead of the (^opeVo/Aev of A.V., with X, A, C, D, E, F, 
G, K, L. P. 2 I Cor. xi. 3. 3 john vi. 40. 

* i.e. simultaneous with, or even anterior to, His advent. Maran hesitates as to the meaning- of the phrase, and writes ; 
** Stispicor tamen intelligi sic posse, ^uanquam voluntas patris est ut in Filitcm credamus, nan tamen propterea sequilur, 
Filium ex voltmtate esse. Nam credere nos oportet in Filium, ut primum in hunc mundum venit, imo afitequam etiain 
naturam humanam assumeret, cunt patriarchce et Judcei prisci ad salutem conseguendam in Christum venturunt credere 
necesse hahuerint. Itaque cum deheamus necessario credere in Filium omni cetate et tempore ; hinc efficitur, Filiujn esse 
natura, non voluntate, neque adoptione. Si voluntas est Patris ut nos in ejus Filium credamus, non est ex voluntate Filius, 
quippe nostra in ipsum fides aut cum ipso aut ante ipsum invenitur. Suhtihs hcec ratiocinatio illustratur ex alia simili, qucB 
reperitur {i.e. at the bei!:innin<j of Book IV.). Si Jides in Filium nostra opus est Dei, ipse Dei opus esse non potest. Nam 
fides in ipsum et ipse non idem.^' 

y]ohnvi.64. ''John i. 14. ^iCor. ii.8. » Ps. xxiv. 7. 9 /.^. of the incarnation, c/. pp. 7, 12. 

10 On Photinus cf. Socra.i(is, Ecc. Hist. ii. 29, and Theodoret, //^r. Fab. ni. 1, and Epiphanius, //(sr. Ixxi, § 3. The 
question as to what Synod condemned and deposed him has been thought to have been settled in favour of that of Sirmium 
in 349. (Z>. C^. iv. 394,) c/". Hefele's Cc?/wf;75, tr. Oxenham, ii. iSS. 

11 ov ycVi-rj/xa aWn KTi(rfj.d. The use of the word ye'i'viTxa in this book is one of the arguments alleared agninst its geniiine- 
ness, for in Book II., Capp. 6, 7, and 8. Basil objects to it; but in the same Book II., Cap. 32, he uses it apparently without 
objection in the sentence ix toO -yewTj/maTO? vorjcrat paSiov rov yeyevvvKOTO'^ rrji/ (^vatv. Maran, Vit. Bas. xliii. 7. 

12 The English wnxA firstborn is not an exact rendering of the Greek TrpwTOTOKoc. and in its theological use it mav lead to 
confusion. " Bear " and its correlatives in English are only used of the mother. TtxTw ( KTEK. cf Ger.Zeuor.) is used indifferently 
of both father and mother. TrotoTOTo/to? is exactly rendiereA firstborn in Luke ii. 7; hxxi first begotten, as in A.V. Heb. i. 6, and 
Rev. i. 5, more precisely renders the word in the text, and in such passages as Ex. xiii. 2, and Psalm Ixxxix. 2S, which are 
Messianically applied to the divine Word. So early as Clemens Alexandrinus the only begotten and first begotten had been 
contrasted with the. first created^ the hie^hest order of created lieings. With him may be compared TertuUian, Adv. Prax. 7, Adv. 
Marc. v. 19, Hippolvtus, Hcer. x. 33, Origen, C Cels. vi. 47, 63, 64, In loann. 1, § 22 (iv. p. 21), xix. § 5 (p. 305), xxviii. § 14 
(p 393), Cyprian, Test. ii. i, Novatian, De Trin, 16. On the nistory and uses of the w^ord, see the exhaustive note of Bp. 
I.jghtfoot on Col. i. 15. 



PROLEGOMENA. xli 



begotten of creation He is first created, then because He is called first begotten of the dead ^ 
He would be the first of the dead who died. If on the other hand He is called first begotten 
of the dead because of His being the cause of the resurrection from the dead, He is in 
the same manner called first begotten of creation, because He is the cause of the bringing 
of the creatine from the non existent into being. If His being called first begotten of 
creation indicates that He came first into being, then the Apostle, when he said, ' all 
things were created by Him and for Him, ''^ ought to have added, 'And He came into 
being first of all.' But in saying ' He is before all things,' ^ he indicated that He exists 
eternally, while the creature came into being. 'Is' in the passage in question is in har- 
mony with the words ' In the beginning was the Word."* It is urged that if the Son is 
first begotten, He cannot be only begotten, and that there must needs be some other, in 
comparison with whom He is styled first begotten. Yet, O wise objector, though He is 
the only Son born of the Virgin Mary, He is called her first born. For it is said, ' Till 
she brought forth her first born Son.' ^ There is therefore no need of any brother ia com- 
parison with whom He is styled first begotten.^ 

'' It might also be said that one who was before all generation was called first begotten, 
and moreover in respect of them who are begotten of God through the adoption of the 
Holy Ghost, as Paul says, ' For whom He did foreknow. He also did predestinate to be 
conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the first born among many 
brethren.' " ' 

071 Prov. viz. 22, The Lord created Me (ZJOT.).^ 

"If it Is the incarnate Lord who says ' I am the way,' ® and ' No man cometh unto 
the Father but by me,' ^^ it is He Himself Who said, ' The Lord created me beginning of 
ways.' The word is also used of the creation and making of a begotten being," as ' I have 
created a man through the Lord,' ^^ and again ' He begat sons and daughters,' ^^ and so 
David, ' Create in me a clean heart, O God,' ^* not asking foranotiier, but for the cleansing 
of the heart he had. And a new creature is spoken of, not as though another creation 
came into being, but because the enlightened are established in better works. If the Father 
created the Son for works, He created Him not on account of Himself, but on account of 
the works. But that which comes into being on account of something else, and not on its 
own account, is either a part of that on account of which it came into being, or is inferior. 
The Saviour will then be either a part of the creature, or inferior to the creature. We 
must understand the passage of the manhood. And it might be said that Solomon uttered 
these words of the same wisdom whereof the Apostle makes mention in the passage 'For 
after that in the wisdom of God, the world by wisdom knew not God.' ^^ It must moreover 
be borne in mind that the speaker is not a prophet, but a writer of proverbs. Now pro- 
verbs are fig^ures of other thing's, not the actual thins^s which are uttered. If it was God the 
Son Who said, ' The Lord created me,' Pie would rather have said, ' The Father created 
me.' Nowhere did Pie call Him Lord, but always Father. The word ' begot,' then, must 
be understood in reference to God the Son, and the word created, in reference to Him 
who took on Him the form of a servant. In all these cases we do not mention two, God 
apart and man apart (for He was One), but in thought we take into account the nature of 
each. Peter had not two in his mind when he said, ' Christ hath uftered for us in the 
flesh.' *^ If, they argue, the Son is a thing begotten and not a thing made, how does Scrip- 
ture say, ' Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God hath made that 
same Jesus, Whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ'. ^^^ We must also say here that 

1 Rev, i. 5. 2Col 1. !6. 3Col. i. 17. 4jnhni. i. c Matt. i. 25. 

c Jerome's Tract on the Perpetual Virginity of the Blessed Virgin appeared about 3S3, and was written at Rome in the 
episcopate of Damasus (363- 3S4). The work of Helvidius which Jerome controverted was not published till about 3S0, and 
there can be no reference to him in the nassa2:e in the text. Basil is contending against the general Arian inference, rather 
than against any individual statement as to who the *' Brethren of the Lord " were. cf. also dub. Horn, in Sand. Christ. Gen. 
p. 6co. Ed- Garn. On the whole subject see Bp. Lightfoot, in his Ep. to the Galatians, E. S. Ffoulkes in D.C.B. s.v. Hel- 
vidius, and Archdeacon Farrar in his Life of Christ, chap, vii., who warmly supports the Helvidian theory in opposition to 
the almost universal belief of the early Church. Basil evidently has no more idea that the 'i^^i<i ov of Matt. i. 21; implies any 
thing as to events subsequent to the tok-o? than the author of 2 Sam. had when he said that Michal had no child till (LXX. roj?) 
the day of her death, or St. Paul had that Christ's reigning //// (dxpi? ov) He had put all enemies under His fett implied that 
He would not reign afterwards. Too much importance must not be given to niceties of usage in Hellenistic Greek, but it is z. 
well-known distinction in Attic Greek that noiw with the infinitive is employed where the action is not asserted to take place, 
while it is used with the indicative of a past fact. Had St. Matthew written -rrplv a-vurjXBov, the Helvidians might have iaid 
still greater stress than they did on the argument from Matt. i. iS, which St. Jerome ridicules. His writing ttoli' r) avuekOelv is 
what might have been expected if he wished simply to assert that the conception was not preceded by any cohabitation. 

'' Rom. viii.2g. 8 The LXX. version is Kupio? eKna-e /ae apxv^ oSwi' avrov. 9 John xiv. 6. ^^ Id. 

*i yevi/rjua, '2 The Heb. verb here is the same as in Prov. viii. 22, though rendered eKT-qcrdiJiriv in the LXX. 

^3 Gen. v. 4. Here Basil has iiroiiqcrev for the LXX. eyevi'Tqcrei', representing another Hebrew verb. 

^* Ps. \i. 10 KapSiav Kadapav KTiiTov. 15 j Cor. i. 31. 1° i Pet. iv. I. " Acts ii. 36. 



xlii BASIL. 

this was spoken according to the flesh about the Son of Man; just as the angel who an- 
nounced the glad tidings to the shepherds says, ' To you is born to-day a Saviour, Who is 
Christ the Lord.' ^ The word ' to-day' could never be understood of Him Who was before 
the ages. This is more clearly shewn by what comes afterwards where it is said, ' That 
sam^ Jesus whom ye have crucified.' ^ If when the Son was born ^ He was then made 
wisdom, it is untrue that He was * the power of God and the wisdom of God.'^ His 
wisdom did not come into being, but existed always. And so, as though of the Father, it is 
said by David, ' Be thou, God, my defender,' * and again, ' Thou art become my salvation,' * 
and so Paul, ^ Let God be true, but every man a liar,* ' Thus the Lord ' of God is made 
unto us wisdom and sanctification and redemption.* * Now when the Father was made 
defender and true. He was not a thing made ; and similarly when the Son was made 
wisdom and sanctification, He was not a thing made. If it is true that there is one God 
the Father, it is assuredly also true that there is one Lord Jesus Christ the Saviour. 
According to them the Saviour is not God nor the Father Lord, and it is written in vain, 
^ the Lord said unto my Lord.'^ False is the statement, 'Therefore God, thy God, hath 
anointed thee.' ^^ False too, ' The Lord rained from the Lord.' ^^ False, ' God created in the 
image of God,' ^ and ' Who is God save the Lord.^** ^^ and ' Who is a God save our God.' ^* 
False the statement of John that ' the Word was God and the Word was with God ; ' ^* and 
the words of Thomas of the Son, ' my Lord and my God.'^® The distinctions, then, ought 
to be referred to creatures and to those who are falsely and not properly called gods, and 
not to the Father and to the Son." 

On John xvti, 3. That they may know Thee^ the only true God. 

^^ The tr?ie (sing.) is spoken of in contradistinction to the false (ph). But He is 
incomparable, because in comparison with all He is in all things superexcellent. When 
Jeremiah said of the Son, ' This is our God, and there shall none other be accounted of in 
comparison with Him,'^^ did he describe Him as greater even than the Father.^ That the 
Son also is true God, John himself declares in the Epistle, ' That we may know the only 
true God, and we are (in Him that is true, even) in His (true) Son Jesus Christ. This is 
the true God, and eternal life.'^^ It would be wrong, on account of the words ' There shall 
none other be accounted of in comparison of Him,' to understand the Son to be greater 
than the Father ; nor must we suppose the Father to be the only true God. Both expres- 
sions must be used in connexion with those who are falsely styled, but are not really, gods. 
In the same way it is said in Deuteronomy, ' So the Lord alone did lead him, and there 
was no strange God with him.' ^^ If God is alone invisible and wise, it does not at once 
follow that He is greater than all in all things. But the God Who is over all is necessarily 
superior to all.. Did the Apostle, when he styled the Saviour God over alt, describe Him 
as greater than the Father.^ The idea is absurd. The passage in question must be viewed 
in the same manner. The great God cannot be less than a difierent God. When the 
Apostle said of the Son, we look for ' that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the 
great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ,' '^^ did he think of Him as greater than the Father.? ^* 
It is the Son, not the Father, Whose appearance and advent we are waiting for. These 
terms are thus used without distinction of both the Father and the Son, and no exact nicety 
is observed in their employment. ' Being equally with God ' ^^ is identical with being 
equal with God.'^^ Since the Son ' thought it not robbery* to be equal with God, how can 
He be unlike and unequal to God.? Jews are nearer true religion than Eunoirjius. When- 
ever the Saviour called Himself no more than Son of God, as though it were due to the 
Son, if He be really Son, to be Himself equal to the Father, they w^ished, it is said, to 
stone Him, not only because He was breaking the Sabbath, but because, by saying that 
God was His own Father, He made Himself equal with God.^'' Therefore, even though 

^Lukeii. II. 2 Acts ii. 36. ^ eyevvT^9rf. But it seems to refer to the birth from Mary. * i Cor. i. 24. 

6 Ps. xxxi. 2, LXX. 8 , Cor. i. 30. " Gen. xix. 24. " /d. LXX. 

6 Ps. cxviii. 21. 9Ps. ex. I. '2 Gen. {,27. isjohn i. i. 

''Rom.iii.4. loPs. xlv. 8. " Ps. xviii. .?i. icjohn xx. 28. 

*' Baruch iii. 35. The quoting of Baruch under the name of Jeremiah has been explained by the fact that in the LXX. 
Baruch was placed with the Lamentations, and was regarded in the early Church as of equal authority with Jeremiah. It was 
commonly so quoted, e.£^. by Irenaeus, Clemens Alexandrinus, and Tertullian. So Theodoret, Dial. i. (in this edition, p. 165, 
where cf. note). 

18 I John V. 20. There is some MS. authority for the insertion of " God " in the first clause, but none for the omission of 
the former kv rep. 1^ Deut. xxxii. 12. 20 xit. ii. 13. 

21 St. Basil, with the mass of the Greek orthodox Fathers, has no idea of any such interpretation of Tit. ii. 13, as Alford 
endeavours to support, cf. Theodoret, pp. 391 and 321, and notes. 

«2 TO eir/ai Ida. ©eui, as in Phil. ii. 6, tr. in A.V. to be equal with God; R.V. has to be on an equality with God. 

^ T<p eij/ai \<jov ©6(j>. 24 John v. iS. 



PROLEGOMENA. xllli 



Eunomius is unwilling that it should be so, according both to the Apostle and to the 
Saviour's own words, the Son is equal with the Father." 

On Matt. XX. 2J. Is not Mine to give, save for whom it is prepared} 

*' If the Son has not authority over the judgment, and power to benefit some and chastise 
others, how could He say, ' The Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment 
unto the Son'?^ And in another place, 'The Son of man hath power on earth to forgive 
sins; ' ^ and again, ' All power is given unto mfe in heaven and in earth ; ' * and to Peter, ' I 
will give thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven ; ' ^ and to the disciples, ' Verily, I say 
unto you that ye which have followed me, in the regeneration, . . . shall sit upon 
twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.'® The explanation is clear from the 
Scripture, since the Saviour said, ' Then will I reward every man according to his work ; ' ^ 
and in another place, ' They that have done good shall come forth imto the resurrection of 
life, and they that have done evil unto the resurrection of damnation.' ^ And the Apostle 
says, ' We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that every one may receive 
the things done in his body, according to what he hath done, whether it be good or bad.' ® 
It is therefore the part of the recipients to make themselves worthy of a seat on the left 
and on the right of the Lord : it is not the part of Him Who is able to give it, even though 
the request be unjust." ^^ 



On Fs. xviii.Sii LXX, Who is God, save the Lord? Who is God save our God? 

" It has already been sufficiently demonstrated that the Scriptures employ these ex- 
pressions and others of a similar character not of the Son, but of the so-called gods who 
were not really so. I have shewn this from the fact that in both the Old and the New 
Testament the vSon is frequently stvled both God and Lord. David makes this still clearer 
when he says, ' Who is like unto Thee?' ^^ and adds, ' among the gods, O Lord,' and Moses, 
in the words, ' So the Lord alone did lead him, and there was no strange god with him.'^^ 
And yet although, as the Apostle says, the Saviour was with them, ' They drank of that 
spiritual rock that followed them, and that rock was Christ,' ^^ and Jeremiah, 'The gods 
that have not made the heavens and the earth, ... let them perish under the 
heavens.' ^* The Son is not meant among these, for He is Himself Creator of all. It is 
then the idols and images of the heathen who are meant alike by the preceding passage 
and by the words, ' I am the first God and lam the last, and beside me there is no God,' '* 
and also, ' Before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me,' ^^ and ' Hear, 
O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord.' ^' None of these passages must be understood as 
referring to the Son." 

Tlie Fifth Book against Eunomius is on the Holy Spirit, and therefore, even if it were 
of indubitable genuineness, it would be of comparatively little importance, as the subject 
is fully discussed in the treatise of his maturer life. A reason advanced against its genuine- 
ness has been the use concerning the Holv Ghost of the term God. (§ 3.) But it has 
been replied that the reserve which St. Basil practised after his elevation to the episcopate 
was but for a special and temporary purpose. He calls the Spirit God in Ep. VIII. §11. 
At the time of the publication of the Books against Eunomius there would be no such 
reason for any " economy " ^^ as in 374. 

(ii) De Spiritu Sancto. To the illustration and elucidation of this work I have 
little to add to what is furnished, however inadequately, by the translation and notes in the 
following pages. The famous treatise of St. Basil was one of several put out about the 
same time by the champions of the Catholic cause. Amphilochius, to whom it was 

* I do not here render with the Arian ^loss of A.V., infelicitously reproduced in the equally inexact translation of R.V. 
The insertion of the words "it shall be g-iven" and "it is" is apparently due to a pedantic prejudice against translating 
aKka. by " save " or " except," a rendering which is supported in classical Greek by such a passagfe as Soph., O. T. 1.^31 , and in 
Hellenistic Greek by Mark ix. 8. The Vul;^ate has, quite correctly, " non est 7nenm dare vobis, sed quibiis paratum est a patre 
meo,'''' so far as the preservation of tlie Son as the eriver is concerned. A similar error is to be found in both the French and 
German (Luther's) of Baester's polyglot edition, Wiclif has correctly, " is not mvn to geve to you but to whiche it is m-.ide 
redi of my fadir." So Tyndale, "is not myne to gfeve but to them for whom it is prepared of my father." The gloss 
begins with Cranmer (1530), " it shall chance unto them thnt it is prepared for," and first appears in the Geneva of 1557 as the 
A.V. has perpetuated it. The Rheims follows the Tohi's of the Vulgate, but is otherwise correct, cf. note on Theodoret in this 
edition, p. i6q. 2johnv. 22. 3 Mark ii, 10. * Matt, xxviii, iS. c Matt. xvi. 19. 

« Matt. xix. 28. "^ cf. Matt. xvi. 27. « John v, 29. " 2 Cor. v. 10. 

'0 These last words are explained by a Scholium to the MS. Reg, II, to be a reference to the unreasonable petition of 
James and John. It will be seen how totally opposed Basil's interpretation is to that required by the gloss of A.V. 

11 Ps. Ixxxvi. S. " Deut. xxxii. 12. w i Cor. x. 4. " Jer, x, 2, LXX, i^' Is, xliv, 6, " God " inserted. 

" Is, xliii. 10, " Deut, vi, 4. i» cf. remarks in § vi. p. xxiii.of Prolegomena. 



xliv BASIL. 

addressed, was the author of a work which Jerome describes {^De Vir. Jll.^ cxxxiii.) as 
arguing that He is God Ahnighty, and to be worshipped. The Ancoratus of Epiphanius 
was issued in 373 in support of the same doctrine. At about the same time DIdymus, the 
bHnd master of the catechetical school at Alexandria, wrote a treatise which is extant in 
St. Jerome's Latin; and of which the work of St. Ambrose, composed in 381, for the 
Emperor Gratian, is "to a considerable extent an echo." ^ 

So in East and West a vigorous defence was maintained against the Macedonian assault. 
The Catholic position is exactly defined in the Synodical Letter sent by Damasus to Paulinus 
of Tyre in 37S.* Basil died at the crisis of the campaign, and with no bright Pisgah view 
of the ultimate passage into peace. The generalship was to pass into other hands. There 
is something of the irony of fate, or of the mystery of Providence, in the fact that the voice 
condemned by Basil to struggle against the mean din and rattle of Sasima should be the 
vehicle for impressing on the empire the truths which Basil held dear. Gregory of Sasima 
was no archiepiscopal success at Constantinople. He was not an administrator or a man of 
the world. But he was a great divine and orator, and the imperial basilica of the Athanasia 
rang with outspoken declarations of the same doctrines, which Basil had more cautiously 
suggested to inevitable inference. The triumph was assured, Gregory was enthroned 
in St. Sophia, and under Theodosius the Catholic Faith was safe from molestation. 

II. EXEGETIC. 

(i) As of the Dc SplritiL Sancto^ so of the Hexaemeron^ no further account need be 
given here. It may, however, be noted that the Ninth Plomily ends abruptly, and the 
latter, and apparently more important, portion of the subject is treated of at less length 
than the former. Jerome ^ and Cassiodorus* speak of nine homilies only on the creation. 
Socrates * says the Hexaemeron was completed by Gregory of Nyssa. Three orations are 
published among Basil's works, two on the creation of men and one on Paradise, which 
are attributed to Basil by Combefis and Du Pin, but not considered genuine by Tillemont, 
Maran, Garnier, Ceillier, and Fessler. They appear to be compositions which some editor 
thought congruous to the popular work of Basil, and so appended them to it. 

The nine discourses in the Hexaemeron all shew signs of having been delivered ex- 
tempore, and the sequence of argument and illustration is not such as to lead to the con- 
clusion that they were ever redacted by the author into exact literary form. We probably 
owe their preservation to the skilled shorthand writers of the day.^ 

(ii) The Homilies on the Psalms as published are seventeen in number; it has how- 
ever been commonly held that the second Homily on Ps. xxviii. is not genuine, but the com- 
position of some plagiarist. The Homily also on Ps. xxxvii. has been generally objected to. 
These are omitted from the group of the Ben. Ed., together with the first on Ps. cxiv., 
and that on cxv. Maran ' thinks that none of these orations shew signs of having been 
delivered in the episcopate, or of having reference to the heresy of the Pneumatomachi ; 
two apparently point directly to the presbyterate. In that on Ps. xiv. he speaks of an 
a,fzepz/z/^/'a which would better befit the priest than the primate; on Ps. cxiv. he describes 
himself as serving a particular church. Both arguments seem a little far-fetched, and 
might be opposed on plausible grounds. Both literal and allegorical interpretations 
are given. If Basil is found expressing himself in terms similar to those of Eusebius, it is 
no doubt because both were inspired by Origen.® The Homily on Psalm i. begins with a 
partial quotation from 2 Tim. iii. 16, *' All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and 
is profitable," and goes on, *' and was composed by the Spirit to the end that all of us 
men, as in a general hospital for souls, may choose each what is best for his own cure." 
For him, Scripture is supreme.® As is noticed on Hom. IX. ^^ of the Hexaemeron, Basil is 
on the whole for the simpler sense. But he was a student of Origen, and he well knows 

1 Svvete, Doctrine of the Holy Spirit ^ p. 71, who further notes : •' St. Jerome is severe upon St. Ambrose for copying- 
Didymus, and says that the Archbishop of Milan had produced ^ ex Grcerii bonis Latina non bona.* The work of the Latin 
Father is, however, by no means a mere copy; and other writers besides Didymus are laid under contribution in the argument; 
e.g'. St. Basil and perhaps St. Athanatius." 

* Theod. V. II in this edition, p. 139; Mansi iii. 48'^. 

' De Vir. Illust. cxvi. _ * Jnstit. Div. i. 8 Ecc. Hist. iv. 26. 

6 cf. Letter ccxxiii. § 5, p. 264. It is believed that tachygraphy was known from very early times, and Xenophon is said 
to have "reported" Socrates by its aid. The first plain mention of a tachygraphist is in a letter of Flavins Philostratiis 
(A.D. 195). it has been thought that the systems in use in the earlier centuries of our era were modifications of a cryptographic 
method employed by the Christians to circulate documents in the Church. No examples are extant of an earlier date than the 
tenth century, and of these an interesting specimen is the Paris MS. of Hermogenes described by Montfaucon, Pal. Gr. 
p. 351. The exact minutes of some of the Councils — e,g. Chalcedon — seem to he due to very successful tachyg-raphy. 

7 Vit, Bas. xli. 4. * cf. Fessler, p. 512. " cf. Epp. cv., clx. § 2, cxcviii. § 3, and cclxiv. § 4. ' ^^ See p. 101. 



PROLEGOMENA. xlv 



how to use allegory when he thinks fit.^ An example may be observed in Letter 
VIIE.,* where there is an elaborate allegorisation of the ''times and the seasons " of 
Acts i. 7. An instance of the application of both systems is to be found in the Homily 
on Psalm xxviii. (/.^. in A. V. xxix. ) , The LXX. Title is ^a2/ubg r<J Ar/iM I^ocYlov oKTjvfjq, ^'/'sa/- 
miis David in exitu e tabernacido.^' Primarily this is a charge delivered to the priests and 
Levites on leaving their sacred offices. They are to remember all that it is their duty to 
prepare for the holy service. As tiiey go out of the Tabernacle the psalm tells them all 
that it behoves them to have in readiness for the morrow, young rams (Ps. xxix. i, LXX.), 
glory and honour, glory for His name. ''But to our minds, as they contemplate high and 
lofty things, and by tiie aid of an interpretation dignified and worthy of Holy Scripture 
make the Law our own, the meaning is different. There is no question of ram in flock, 
nor tabernacle fashioned of lifeless material, nor departure from the temple. The taber- 
nacle for us is this body of ours, as the Apostle has told us in the words, 'For we that 
are in this tabernacle do groan.* * The departure from the temple is our quitting this life. 
For this these words bid us be prepared, bringing such and such things to the Lord, if the 
deeds done here are to be a means to help us on our journey to the life to come." 

This is in the style of exegesis hitherto popular. To hearers familiar with exegesis 
of the school of Origen, it is an innovation for Basil to adopt such an exclusively literal 
system of exposition as he does, — e.g. in Hom. IX. on the Hexaemcron, — the system which 
is one of his distinguishing characteristics.'' In his common-sense literalism he is thus a 
link with the historical school of Antioch, whose principles were in contrast with those of 
Origen and the Alexandrians, a school represented by Theodore of Mopsuestia, Dio- 
dorus of Tarsus, and later by Theodoret.^ 

It is remarked by Gregory of Nazianzus in his memorial oration** that Basil used 
a threefold method of enforcing Scripture on his hearers and readers. This may be under- 
stood to be the literal, moral, and allegorical. CeilHer points out that this description, so 
far as we know, applies only to the Homilies on the Psalms. 

The praise of the Psalms, prefixed to Psalm i., is a passage of noticeable rhetorical 
power and of considerable beauty. Its popularity is shewn by the fact of its being found 
in some manuscripts of St. Augustine, and also in the commentary of Rufinus. The 
latter probably translated it ; portions of it were transcribed by St. Ambrose.^ 

'' The prophets," says St. Basil, " the historians, the law, give each a special kind of 
teaching, and the exhortation of the proverbs furnishes yet another. But the use and 
profit of all are included in the book of Psalms. There is prediction of thing to come. 
There our memories are reminded of the past. There laws are laid down for the guidance 
of life. There are directions as to conduct. The book, in a word, is a treasury of sound 
teaching, and provides for every individual need. It heals the old hurts of souls, and 
brings about recovery where the wound is fresh. It wins the part that is sick and 
preserves that which is sound. As far as lies within its power, it destroys the passions which 
lord it in this life in the souls of men. And all this it effects with a musical persuasiveness 
and with a gratification that induces wise and wholesome reflexion. The Lloly Spirit saw 
that mankind was hard to draw to goodness, that our life's scale inclined to pleasure, and 
that so we were neglectful of the right. What plan did He adopt.? Pie combined the 
delight of melody with His teaching, to the end that by the sweetness and softness of what 
we heard we might, all unawares, imbibe the blessing of the words. He acted like wise 
leeches, who, when they would give sour draughts to sickly patients, put honey round about 
the cup. So the melodious music of the Psalms has been designed for us, that those who 
are boys in years, or at least but lads in ways of life, while they seem to be singing, mav 
in reality be carrying on the education of the soul. It is not easy for the inattentive to 
retain in their memory, when they go home, an injunction of an apostle or prophet; but 
the sayings of the Psalms are sung in our houses and travel with us through the streets. 

^ * " Orforhte sarri'fiait tout au aens mystique Eua^he le fm<:ait aller de fair a-r>e^ Ip sens histon'que. Coivr"e lui St. 
Basile re<:perte scncpHleusement la lettre; viais commc lui anssi, il voit sous la lettre tons les mystrres du Nouveoti Testavtent 
et stirtout des enseia-nements moratix. Les differents caracteres que presente son interpretation sont un nioyen fresque 
tnfaillible de connaitre la date des ses grands iravaux exeffetiques. Aussi ne doit-on pas hesiter a assigner aiix premieres 




5 attache surtout a donner nne explication exacte de la lettre^ Fialon, F.t Hist. p. 291. The theory is sus:2-estive, but I am 
not sure tliat tlie prevalence of the literal or of the allesorical is not due less to the period of the composition than to the 
objects the writer has ill view. ^ '2p. n8. s 2 Cor. v. 4. 

_,* ^'^ Allgemeinen und im Grundsatze aher ist Basil gegen die allegoriScke Erkl'drungsweise, so oft er sie dann auch 
ttn Einzelnen amvendet. Bohringer, Basil t p. 116. 

** cf, Gieseler i. p. 109. « Or. xliii. § 67. f Ccillier. 



xlvi BASIL. 

Let a man begin even to grow savage as some wild beast, and no sooner is he soothed by 
psalm-singing than straightway he goes home with passions lulled to calm and quiet by 
the music of the song.^ 

*' A psalm is souls' calm, herald of peace, hushing the swell and agitation of thoughts. 
It soothes the passions of the soul ; it brings her license under law. A psalm is welder of 
friendship, atonement of adversaries, reconciliation of haters. Who can regard a man as 
his enemy, when they have lifted up one voice to God together? So Psalmody gives us the 
best of all boons, love. Psalmody has bethought her of concerted singing as a mighty 
bond of union, and links the people together in a symphony of one song. A psalm puts 
fiends to flight, and brings the aid of angels to our side; it is armour in the terrors of the 
night ; in the toils of the day it is refreshment; to infants it is a protection, to men in life's 
prime a pride, to elders a consolation, to women an adornment. It turns wastes into 
homes. It brings wisdom into marts and meetings. To beginners it is an alphabet, to 
all who are advancing an improvement, to the perfect a confirmation. It is the voice of the 
church. It gladdens feasts. It produces godly sorrow. It brings a tear even from a heart of 
stone. A psalm is angels' work, tlie heavenly conversation, the spiritual sacrifice. Oh, the 
thouo-htful wisdom of the Instructor Who desisrned that we should at one and the same 
time sing and learn to our profit! It is thus that His precepts are imprinted on our souls. 
A lesson that is learned unwillingly is not likely to lust, but all that is learned with pleasure 
and delight eflfects a permanent settlement in our souls. What can you not learn from 
this source.'^ You may learn magnificent manliness, scrupulous righteousness, dignified 
self-control, perfect wisdom. You may learn how to repent, and how far to endure. 
What good thing can you not learn.'* There is a complete theology; ^ a foretelling of the 
advent of Christ in the flesh; threatening of judgment; hope of resurrection; fear of 
chastisement ; promise of glory ; revelation of mysteries. Everything is stored in the 
book of the Psalms as in some vast treasury open to all the world. There are many in- 
struments of music, but the prophet has fitted it to the instrument called Psaltery. I think 
the reason is that he wished to indicate the grace sounding in him from on high by the gift 
of the Spirit, because of all instruments the Psaltery is the only one which has the source of 
its sounds above.^ • In the case of the cithara and the lyre the metal gives forth its sound at 
the stroke of the plectrum from below. The Psaltery has the source of its melodious 
strains above. So are we taught to be diligent in seeking the things which are above, and 
not to allow ourselves to be degraded by our pleasure in the music to the lusts of the flesh. 
And what I think the word of the Prophet profoundly and wisely teaches by means of the 
fashion of the instrument is this, — that those whose souls are musical and harmonious 
find their road to the things that are above most easy." 

On Psalm xiv. (in A . V. xv,) the commentary begins : 

" Scripture, with the desire to describe to us the perfect man, the man who is ordained 
to be the recipient of blessings, observes a certain order and method in the treatment of 
points in him which we may contemplate, and begins from the simplest and most obvious, 
' Lord, who shall sojourn* in thy tabernacle? ' A sojourning is a transitory dwelling. It 
indicates a life not settled, but passing, in hope of our removal to the better things. It is 
the part of a saint to pass through this world, and to hasten to another life. In this sense 
David says of himself, ' I am a stranger with thee and a sojourner, as all my fiithers were.' ^ 
Abraham was a sojourner, who did not possess even so much land as to set his foot on, 
and, when he needed a tomb, bought one for money. ^ The word teaches us that so long as 
he lives in the flesh he is a sojourner, and, when he removes from this life, rests in his own 
home. In this life he sojourns with strangers, but the land which he bought in the tomb 
to receive his body is his own. And truly blessed is it, not to rot with things of earth as 
though they were one's own, nor cling to all that is about us here as though here were our 
natural fatherland, but to be conscious of the fall from nobler things, and of our passing our 
time in heaviness because of the punishment that is laid upon us, just like exiles who for 
some crimes' sake have been banished by the magistrates into regions far from the land 
that gave them birth. Hard it is to find a man who will not heed present things as though 
they were his own; who knows that he has the use of wealth but for a season; who 

1 The Enijlish reader is reminded of Congreve's " music " charming ♦' the savavre breast." _ ^ cf. p. 7, note. 

3 Cassiodorus f Prcef. in /'f. iv.) describes a psalterv shaped like the Greek A, with the sounding hoard above the strings 
which were struck downwards, cf. St. Au^^, on Ps. xxxii. and Diet. Bib. s.v. 

* A. V. marg. and R.V. The LXX. is Trapot/cijcrei. ^ ps. xxxix. la. • ef. Gen. xxiii. 16, and Acts vii. 16. 



' PROLEGOMENA. xlvii 



reckons on the brief duration of his health ; who remembers that the bloom of human glory 
fades away. 

'^ ' Who shall sojourn in thy tabernacle?' The flesh that is given to man's soul for it 
to dwell in is called God's tabernacle. Who will be found to treat this flesh as though it 
were not his own? Sojourners, when they hire land that is not their own, till the estate 
at the will of the owner. So, too, to us the care of the flesh has been entrusted by bond, 
for us to toil with diligence therein, and make it fruitful for the use of Him Who gave it. 
And if the flesh is worthy of God, it becomes verily a tabernacle of God, accordingly as 
He makes His dwelling in the saints. Such is the flesh of the sojourner. ' Lord, who 
shall sojourn in Thy tabernacle? ' Then there come progress and advance to that which is 
more perfect. ' And who shall dwell in thy holy hill?' A Jew, in earthly sense, when he 
hears of the ' hill,' turns his thoughts to Sion. ' Who shall dwell in thy holy hill?' The 
sojourner in the flesh shall dwell in the holy hill, he shall dwell in that hill, that heavenly 
country, bright and splendid, whereof the Apostle says, ' Ye are come unto Mount Sion, 
and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem,' where is the general assembly 
of ' angels, and church of the first-born, which are written in heaven.' " ^ 

The Second Homily on Psalm xiv. (xv.) has a special interest in view of the denun- 
ciation of usury alike in Scripture and in the early Church. The matter had been treated of 
at Nicsea. With it may be compared Homily VIL, De Avaritia.^ 

After a few words of introduction and reference to the former Homily on the same 
Psahn, St. Basil proceeds; — ''In depicting the character of the perfect man, of him, that 
is, who is ordained to ascend to the life of everlasting peace, the prophet reckons among 
his noble deeds his never having given his money upon usury. This particular sin is con- 
demned in many passages of Scripture. Ezekiel ^ reckons taking usury and increase among 
the greatest of crimes. The law distinctly utters the prohibition ' Thou shalt not lend upon 
usury to thy brother' * and to thy neighbour. Again it is said, ' Usury upon usury ; guile upon 
guile.' * And of the city abounding in a multitude of wickednesses, what does the Psalm say ? 
' Usury and guile depart not from her streets.'^ Now the prophet instances precisely the 
same point as characteristic of the perfect man, saying, ' He that putteth not out his money 
to usury.' ' For in truth it is the last pitch of inhumanity that one man, in need of the bare 
necessities of life, should be compelled to borrow, and another, not satisfied with the prin- 
cipal, should seek to make gain and profit for himself out of the calamities of the poor. 
The Lord gave His own injunction quite plainly in the words, ' from him that would bor- 
row of thee turn not thou away.'^ But what of the money lover? He sees before him a 
man under stress of necessity bent to the ground in supplication. He sees him hesitating 
at no act, no words, of humiliation. He sees him suffering undeserved misfortune, but he 
is merciless. He does not reckon that he is a fellow-creature. He does not give in to his 
entreaties. He stands stiff' and sour. He is moved by no prayers; his resolution is broken 
by no tears. He persists in refusal, invoking curses on his own head if he has any money 
about him, and swearing that he is himself on the lookout for a friend to furnish 
him a loan. He backs lies with oaths, and makes a poor addition to his stock in trade by 
supplementing inhumanity with perjury. Then the suppliant mentions interest, and utters 
the word security. All is changed. The frown is relaxed ; with a genial smile he recalls 
old family connexion. Now it is ' my friend.' * I will see,' says he, ' if I have any 
money by me. Yes ; there is that sum which a man I know has left in my hands on deposit 
for profit. He named very heavy interest. However, I shall certainly take something oft', 
and give it you on better terms.' With pretences of this kind and talk like this he fawns 
on the wretched victim, and induces him to swallow the bait. Then he binds him with 
written security, adds loss of liberty to the trouble of his pressing poverty, and is off'. The 
man who has inade himself responsible for interest which he cannot pay has accepted vol- 
untary slavery for life. Tell me ; do you expect to get money and profit out of the pauper? 
If he were in a position to add to your wealth, why should he come begging at your door? 
He came seeking an ally, and he found a foe. He was looking for medicine, and he 
lighted on poison. You ought to have comforted him in his distress, but in your attempt 
to grow fruit on the waste you are aggravating his necessity. Just as well might a physi- 
cian go in to his patients, and instead of restoring them to health, rob them of the little 
strength they might have left. This is the way in which you try to profit by the misery of 
the wretched. Just as farmers pray for rain to make their fields fatter, so you are anxious 

1 Heb. xii. 22. 23. 8 xxii. 12. '' Jer. ix. 6, LXX. '' Ps. xv. 5. 

* cf. note on Basil's xivth Can., p. aaS. * Deut. xxiii. 19. « Ps. Iv. 11, LXX. « Matt. v. 43. 



xlviii BASIL. * 

for men's need and indigence, that your money may make more. You forget that the 
addition which you are making to your sins is larger than the increase to your wealth 
which you are reckoning on getting for your usury. The seeker of the loan is helpless 
either way: he 'bethinks him of his poverty, he gives up all idea of payment as hope- 
less when at the need of the moment he risks the loan. The borrower bends to necessity 
and is beaten. The lender goes off secured by bills and bonds. 

'' After he has got his money, at first a man is bright and joyous; he shines with 
another's splendour, and is conspicuous by his altered mode of life. His table is lavish ; 
his dress is most expensive. His servants appear in finer liveries ; he has flatterers and boon 
companions ; his rooms are full of drones innumerable. But the money slips away. 
Time as it runs on adds the interest to its tale. Now night brings him no rest; no day is 
joyous; no sun is bright ; he is weary of his life ; he hates the days that are hurrying on to 
the appointed period ; he is afraid of the months, for they are parents of interest. Even 
if he sleeps, he sees the lender in his slumbers — a bad dream — standing by his pillow. 
If he wakes up, there is the anxiety and dread of the interest. * The poor and the 
usurer,' he exclaims, ' meet together: the Lord lighteneth both their eyes.' ^ The lender 
runs like a hound after the game. The borrower like a ready prey crouches at the coming 
catastrophe, for his penury robs him of the power of speech. Both have their ready- 
reckoner in their hands, the one congratulating himself as the interest mounts up, the 
other groaning at the growth of his calamities. ' Drink waters out of thine own cistern.' * 
Look, that is to say, at your own resources ; do not approach other men's springs ; provide 
your comforts from your own reservoirs. Have you household vessels, clothes, beast of 
burden, all kinds of furniture? Sell these. Rather surrender all than lose your liberty. 
Ah, but — he rejoins — I am ashamed to put them up for sale. What then do you think 
of another's bringing them out a little later on, and crying your goods, and getting rid of 
them for next to nothing before your very eyes. ^ Do not go to another man's door. 
Verily ' another man's well is narrow.' ^ Better is it to relieve your necessity gradually 
by one contrivance after another than after being all in a moment elated by another man's 
means, afterwards to be stripped at once of everything. If you have anything wherewith 
to pay, why do you not relieve your immediate difficulties out of these resources.^ If you 
are insolvent, you are only trying to cure ill with ill. Decline to be blockaded by an usurer. 
Do not suffer yourself to be sought out and tracked down like another man's game.* 
Usury is the origin of lying ; the beginning of ingratitude, unfairness, perjury. 

** But, you ask, how am I to live.'^ You have hands. You have a craft. Work for 
wages. Go into service. There are many ways of getting a living, many kinds of 
resources. You are helpless? Ask those who have means. It is discreditable to ask? It 
will be much more discreditable to rob your creditor. I do not speak thus to lay down the 
law. I only wish to point out that any course is more advantageous to you than 
borrowing. 

'^ Listen, you rich men, to the kind of advice I am giving to the poor because of your 
inhumanity. Far better endure under their dire straits than undergo the troubles that are 
bred of usury ! But if you were obedient to the Lord, what need of these words? What 
is the advice of the Master? Lend to those from whom ye do not hope to receive.* And 
what kind of loan is this, it is asked, from which all idea of the expectation of repayment 
is withdrawn? Consider the force of the expression, and you will be amazed at the 
loving kindness of the legislator. When you mean to supply the need of a poor man 
for the Lord's sake, the transaction is at once a gift and a loan. Because there is no 
expectation of reimbursement, it is a gift. Yet because of the munificence of the Master, 
Who repays on the recipient's behalf, it is a loan. ' He that hath pity on the poor 
lendeth unto the Lord.' * Do you not wish the Master of the universe to be responsible 
for your repayment? If any wealthy man in the town promises you repayment on behalf 
of others, do you admit his suretyship? But you do not accept God, Who more than 
repays on behalf of the poor. Give the money lying useless, without weighting it with 
increase, and both shall be benefited. To you will accrue the security of its safe keeping. 
The recipients will have the advantage of its use. And if it is increase which you seek, 

1 Prov. xxix. 13, A.V. marg. R.V. has " oppressor." » Prov. v. 15. » Prov. xxiii. 27, LXX. 

*<aaiT€p aWoTpiov Oripafxa. Ed. Par. Vulg. oian-ep dAAo Ti ^Typa/ia. 6 «^. Luke vi. 34, 35. <> prov. xix. 17. 



PROLEGOMENA. xlix 



be satisfied with that which is giv^en by the Lord. He will pa}'' the interest for the poor. 
Await the loving-kindness of Him Who is in truth most kind. 

'^ What you are taking involves the last extremity of inhumanity. You are making your 
profit out of misfortune ; you are levying a tax upon tears. You are strangling the naked. 
You are dealing blows on the starving.' There is no pity anywhere, no sense of your 
kinship to the hungry; and you call the profit you get from these sources kindly 
and humane! Wo unto them that 'put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter,'' and 
call inhumanity humanity! This surpasses even the riddle which Samson proposed 
to his boon companions : — ' Out of the eater came forth meat, and out of the strong 
came forth sweetness.'^ Out of the inhuman came forth humanity ! Men do not gather 
grapes of thorns, nor figs of thistles,^ nor humanity of usury. A corrupt tree bringeth 
forth evil fruit.* There are such people as twelve-per-cent-men and ten-per-cent-men : I 
shudder to mention their names. They are exactors by the month, like the demons who 
produce epilepsy, attacking the poor as the changes of the moon come round.* 

'' Here there is an evil grant to either, to ^iver and to recipient. To the latter, it brings 
ruin on his property; to the former, on his soul. The husbandman, when he has the ear 
in store, does not search also for the seed beneath the root; you both possess the fruit 
and cannot keep your hands from the principal. You plant where there is no ground. 
You reap where there has been no sowing. For whom you are gathering you cannot 
tell. The man from whom usury wrings tears is manifest enough ; but it is doubtful who 
is destined to enjoy the results of the superfluity. You have laid up in store for yourself 
the trouble that results from your iniquity, but it is uncertain whether you will not leave 
the use of your wealth to others. Therefore, 'from him that would borrow of thee, 
turn not thou away ;' ^ and do not give your money upon usury. Learn from both Old 
and New Testament what is profitable for you, and so depart hence with good hope to 
your Lord ; in Him you will receive the interest of your good deeds, — in Jesus Christ our 
Lord to Whom be glory and might for ever and ever, Amen." 

(iii.) The Commentaiy on Isaiah. The Commentary on Isaiah Is placed by the Bene- 
dictine Editors in the appendix of doubtful composition, mainly on the ground of inferiority 
of style. Ceillier is strongly in favour of the genuineness of this work, and calls attention 
to the fact that it is attested by strong manuscript authority, and by the recognition of St. 
Maximus, of John of Damascus, of Simeon Logothetes, of Antony Melissa of Tarasius, 
and of the Greek scholiast on the Epistles of St. Paul, who is supposed to be CEcumenius. 
P'essler ' ranks the work among those of doubtful authority on the ground of the silence of 
earlier Fathers and of the inferiority of style, as well as of apparent citations from the Com- 
mentary of Eusebius, and of some eccentricity of opinion. He conjectures that we may 
possibly have here the rough material of a proposed work on Isaiah, based mainly on Origen, 
which was never completed. Garnier regards it as totally unworthy of St. Basil. MaiMn 
( Vit. Bas. 42) would accept it, and refutes objections. 

Among the remarks which have seemed frivolous is the comment on Is. xi. 12, that 
the actual cross of the Passion was prefigured by the four parts of the universe joining in 
the midst.® Similar objections have been taken to the statement that the devils like rich 
fare, and crowd the idols' temples to enjoy the sacrificial feasts.^ On the other hand it has 
been pointed out that this ingenuity in finding symbols of the cross is of a piece with that 
of Justin Martyr,'" who cites the yard on the mast, the plough, and the Roman trophies, 
and that Gregory of Nazianzus " instances the same characteristic of the devils. While 
dwelling on the holiness of character required for the prophetic offices, the Commentary 
points out '^ that sometimes it has pleased God to grant it to Pharaoh and Nebuchadnezzar 
for the sake of their great empires; to Caiaphas as the high priest; to Balaam, because of 
the exigencies of the crisis at which he appeared. The unchaste lad'^ who has some great 
sin upon his conscience shrinks from taking his place among the faithful, and is ashamed 
to rank himself with the weepers. So he tries to avoid the examination of those whose 
duty it is to enquire into sins '* and he invents excuses for leaving the church before the 
celebration of the mysteries. The Commentary urges'* that without penitence the best con- 
duct is unavailing for salvation ; that God requires of the sinner not merely the abandonment 

I Is. V. 20. 2 Judjics xiv. 14. 3 Matt. vii. 16. * cf. Matt. vii. iS. 

5 On the connexion between o-eArji'iatriao? and ini\r\\hi.a^ cf. Origen iii. 575-577, and Cnesarius, ^icest. 50. On the special 
attribution of epilepsy to daenioniacal influence illustrated by the name cepo. vocro?, see Hippocrates, De Morbo Sacro. 
« Matt. V. 42. 1 Patr. i. 522. « § 249. § 236. 10 Apol. i. § 72. 

1^ Carm, 11, Epiff. 28: Aai/xocriv elXairiva^ov, ocroi? TonapoiOe jiie'/j.T]Aet 

AxLij.o<rLU fjpa <l>£p€LV, ov KaOapOi<; ®v(ria<;, 

*' § 4. cf. § 199. *3 § 19. ** id. OKVoi €ts Trpoe^acret? 7r€jrAao-/u.cVas inLvo^v Trpb? tovs eTTtfijToOi'Tas. *^ § 34, 378. ' 



xlviii BASIL. * 

^ - , i , — .,— . — , 

for men's need and indigence, that your money may make more. You forget that the 
addition which you are making to your sins is larger than the increase to your wealth 
which you are reckoning on getting for your usury. The seeker of the loan is helpless 
either way: he 'bethinks him of his poverty, he gives up all idea of payment as hope- 
less when at the need of the moment he risks the loan. The borrower bends to necessity 
and is beaten. The lender goes off secured by bills and bonds. 

''After he has got his money, at first a man is bright and joyous; he shines with 
another's splendour, and is conspicuous by his altered mode of life. His table is lavish ; 
his dress is most expensive. His servants appear in finer liveries; he has flatterers and boon 
companions ; his rooms are full of drones innumerable. But the money slips away. 
Tiine as it runs on adds the interest to its tale. Now night brings him no rest; no day is 
joyous; no sun is bright ; he is weary of his life ; he hates the days that are hurrying on to 
the appointed period ; he is afraid of the months, for they are parents of interest. Even 
if he sleeps, he sees the lender in his slumbers — a bad dream — standing by his pillow. 
If he wakes up, there is the anxiety and dread of the interest. ' The poor and the 
usurer,' he exclaims, ' meet together: the Lord lighteneth both their eyes.'^ The lender 
runs like a hound after the game. The borrower like a ready prey crouches at the coming 
catastrophe, for his penury robs him of the power of speech. Both have their ready- 
reckoner in their hands, the one congratulating himself as the interest mounts up, the 
other groaning at the growth of his calamities. ' Drink waters out of thine own cistern.' * 
Look, that is to say, at your own resources ; do not approach other men's springs ; provide 
your comforts from your own reservoirs. Have you household vessels, clothes, beast of 
burden, all kinds of furniture? Sell these. Rather surrender all than lose your liberty. 
Ah, but — he rejoins — I am ashamed to put them up for sale. What then do you think 
of another's bringing them out a little later on, and crying your goods, and getting rid of 
them for next to nothing before your very eyes? Do not go to another man's door. 
Verily ' another man's well is narrow.' ^ Better is it to relieve your necessity gradually 
by one contrivance after another than after being all in a moment elated by another man's 
means, afterwards to be stripped at once of everything. If you have anything wherewith 
to pay, why do you not relieve your immediate difiiculties out of these resources? If you 
are insolvent, you are only trying to cure ill with ill. Decline to be blockaded by an usurer. 
Do not suffer yourself to be sought out and tracked down like another man's game.* 
Usury is the origin of lying ; the beginning of ingratitude, unfairness, perjury. 

*' But, you ask, how am I to live? You have hands. You have a craft. Work for 
wages. Go into service. There are many ways of getting a living, many kinds of 
resources. You are helpless? Ask those who have means. It is discreditable to ask? It 
will be much more discreditable to rob your creditor. I do not speak thus to lay down the 
law. I only wish to point out that any course is more advantageous to 3'ou than 
borrowins:. 

*•••••• ••••••••• 

'' Listen, you rich men, to the kind of advice I am giving to the poor because of your 
inhumanity. Far better endure under their dire straits than undergo the troubles that are 
bred of usury ! But if you were obedient to the Lord, what need of these words? W^hat 
is the advice of the Master? Lend to those from whom ye do not hope to receive.^ And 
what kind of loan is this, it is asked, from which all idea of the expectation of repayment 
is withdrawn? Consider the force of the expression, and you will be amazed at the 
loving kindness of the legislator. When you mean to supply the need of a poor man 
for the Lord's sake, the transaction is at once a gift and a loan. Because there is no 
expectation of reimbursement, it is a gift. Yet because of the munificence of the Master, 
Who repays on the recipient's behalf, it is a loan. ' He that hath pity on the poor 
lendeth unto the Lord.' ^ Do you not wish the Master of the universe to be responsible 
for your repayment? If any wealthy man in the town promises you repayment on behalf 
of others, do you admit his suretyship? But you do not accept God, Who more than 
repays on behalf of the poor. Give the money lying useless, without weighting it with 
increase, and both shall be benefited. To you will accrue the security of its safe keeping. 
The recipients will have the advantage of its use. And if it is increase which you seek, 

1 Prov. xxix. 13, A.V. margf. R.V. has " oppressor.'* a Prov. v, 15. » Prov. xxiii. 27, LXX. 

*w<rjr€p aAAoTpioc di^pafia. Ed. Par. Vulg. ioanep dWo ti O^pafia, 6 <j^. Luke vi. 34, 35. <> Prov. xix. 17. 



PROLEGOMENA. xlix 



be satisfied with that which is given by the Lord. He will pay the interest for the poor. 
Await the loving-kindness of Him Who is in truth most kind. 

" What you are taking involves the last extremity of inhumanity. You are making your 
profit out of misfortune ; you are levying a tax upon tears. You are strangling the naked. 
You are dealing blows on the starving.' There is no pity anywhere, no sense of your 
kinship to the hungry; and you call the profit you get from these sources kindly 
and liumane ! Wo unto them that 'put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter,'^ and 
call inhumanity humanity! This surpasses even the riddle which Samson proposed 
to his boon companions : — * Out of the eater came forth meat, and out of the strong 
came forth sweetness.'^ Out of tlie inhuman came forth humanity ! Men do not gather 
grapes of thorns, nor figs of thistles,*^ nor humanity of usury. A corrupt tree bringeth 
forth evil fruit.'* There are such people as twelve-per-cent-men and ten-per-cent-men : I 
shudder to mention their names. They are exactors by the month, like the demons who 
produce epilepsy, attacking the poor as the changes of the moon come round.* 

'* Here there is an evil grant to either, to jj^iver and to recipient. To the latter, it brings 
ruin on his property ; to the former, on his soul, llie husbandman, when he has the ear 
in store, does not search also for the seed beneath the root; you both possess the fruit 
and cannot keep your hands from the principal. You plant where there is no ground. 
You reap where there has been no sowing. For whom you are gathering you cannot 
tell. The man from whom usury wrings tears is manifest enough ; but it is doubtful who 
is destined to enjoy the results of the superfluity. You have laid up in store for yourself 
the trouble that results from your iniquity, but it is uncertain whether you will not leave 
the use of your wealth to others. Therefore, 'from him that would borrow of thee, 
turn not thou away;'® and do not give your money upon usury. Learn from both Old 
and New Testament what is profitable for you, and so depart hence with good hope to 
your Lord ; in Him you will receive the interest of your good deeds, — in Jesus Christ our 
Lord to Whom be glor}' and might for ever and ever, Amen." 

(iii.) The Commentary 07t Isaiah. The Commentary on Isaiah is placed by the Bene- 
dictine Editors in the appendix of doubtful composition, mainly on the ground of inferiority 
of style. Ceillier is strongly in favour of the genuineness of this work, and calls attention 
to the fact that it is attested by strong manuscript authority, and b}^ the recognition of St. 
Maximus, of John of Damascus, of Simeon Logothetes, of Antony Melissa of Tarasius, 
and of the Greek scholiast on the Epistles of St. Paul, who is supposed to be CEcumenius. 
Fessler ' ranks the work among those of doubtful authority on the ground of the silence of 
earlier Fathers and of the inferiority of style, as well as of apparent citations from the Com- 
mentary of Eusebius, and of some eccentricity of opinion. He conjectures that we may 
possibly have here the rough material of a proposed work on Isaiah, based mainly on Origen, 
which was never completed. Garnier regards it as totally unworthy of St. Basil. MaiMn 
( ViL Bas. 43) would accept it, and refutes objections. 

Among the remarks which have seemed frivolous is the comment on Is. xi. 12, that 
the actual cross of the Passion was prefigured by the four parts of the universe joining in 
the midst.® Similar objections have been taken to the statement that the devils like rich 
fare, and crowd the idols' temples to enjoy the sacrificial feasts.® On the other hand it has 
been pointed out that this ingenuity in finding symbols of the cross is of a piece with that 
of Justin Martyr,'" who cites the yard on the mast, the plough, and the Roman trophies, 
and that Gregory of Nazianzus " instances the same characteristic of the devils. While 
dwelling on the holiness of character required for the prophetic ofhces, the Commentary 
points out '^ that sometimes it has pleased God to grant it to Pharaoh and Nebuchadnezzar 
for the sake of their great empires ; to Caiaphas as the high priest; to Balaam, because of 
the exigencies of the crisis at which he appeared. The unchaste lad '^ who has some great 
sin upon his conscience shrinks from taking his place among the faithful, and Is ashamed 
to rank himself with the weepers. So he tries to avoid the examination of those whose 
duty it is to enquire into sins ^^ and he invents excuses for leaving the church before the 
celebration of the mysteries. The Commentary urges'" that without penitence the best con- 
duct Is unavailing for salvation ; that God requires of the sinner not merely the abandonment 

I Is. V, 20. 2 Judges xiv. 14. 3 Matt. vii. 16. < cf. Matt. vii. iS. 

6 On the connexion between o-eArji'iao-ju-c)? and errtArji^ta, cf. Orig-en iii. 575-577, and Caesarius, ^icesf. 50. On the special 
attribution of epilepsy to daeinoniacal influence illustrated by the name iepd voao-, see Hippocrates, De Morbo Sacro. 
« Matt. V. 42. 7 Patr. i. 522. » § 249. § 236. 10 Apol. i. § 72. 

1^ Carm. 11, Epiff. 28 J AaCfj-oa-iv elkanli'a^ov, o<roi5 TondpoLde /me'^rjAet 

Aai,ao<jtt' fjpa <j>epeLv, ov Ka9apii<; @vcrt.a<;, 

*' § 4. cf. § 199. *3 § 19. ** id. OKi^o? ec? 7rpo(/)ac7-eis TrcTrAao-^eVas inivouyv jrpos tous eTri^ijTOUJ'Ta?. ^* § 34, 378. ' 



» 7 



1 BASIL. 

of the sinful part, but also the amends of penance, and warns men ^ that the}^ must not dream 
that the grace of baptism will free them from the obligation to live a godly life. The value 
of tradition is insisted on.^ Every nation, as well as every church, is said to have its own 
guardian angel. ^ 

The excommunication reserved for certain gross sins is represented " as a necessary 
means enjoined by St. Paul to prevent the spread of wickedness. It is said * to be an old 
tradition that on leaving Paradise Adam went to live in Jewry, and there died ; that after 
his death, his skull appearing bare, it was carried to a certain place hence named " place 
of a skull," and that for this reason Jesus Christ, Who came to destroy death's kingdom, 
willed to die on the spot where the first fruits of mortality were interred.* 

On Is. V. 14, '' Hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure, 
it is remarked that tliese are figurative expressions to denote the multitude of souls that 
perish. At the same time an alternative literal meaning is admitted, the mouth being the 
opening through which the souls of the damned are precipitated into a dark region beneath 
the eaith. 

It is noted in some MSS. that the Commentary was given to the world by an anony- 
mous presbyter after St. Basil's death, who may have abstained from publishing it because 
it was in an unfinished state. Erasmus was the first to undertake to print it, and to trans- 
late it into Latin, but he went no further than the preface. It was printed in Paris in 1556 
by Tilmann, with a lengthy refutation of the objections of Erasmus.** 

III. Ascetic. 

(i) Of the works comprised under this head, the first are the three compositions 
entitled Tractatus Prcevii. The first, PfCEvia htstltutio ascetica {'AGKrjTiKri TrpodiarvTvoaig) , is 
an exhortation to enlistment in the sacred warfare; the second, on renunciation of the world 
and spiritual perfection, is the Sernio asceticus {Aoyog aaKjjriKog) . The third, Serf^zo de as- 
cetica disciplina {\6^oq irepl aaKvoeugy Trojg del KOGfieiaOac toi^ juovaxov)^ treats of the virtues to be 
exhibited in the life of the solitary. 

The first of the three is a commendation less of monasticism than of general Christian 
endurance. It has been supposed to have been written in times of special oppression and 
persecution. 

The second discourse is an exhortation to renunciation of the world. Riches are to 
be abandoned to the poor. The highest life is the monastic. But this Is not to be hastily 
and inconsiderately embraced. To renounce monasticism and return to the world is 
derogatory to a noble profession. The idea of pleasing God In the world as well as out of 
it Is, for those who have once quitted it, a delusion. God has given mankind the choice of 
two holy estates, marriage or virginity. The law which bids us love God more than father, 
mother, or self, more than wife and children, is as binding In wedlock as in celibacy. 
Marriage indeed demands the greater watchfulness, for it offers the greater temptations. 
Monks are to be firm against all attempts to shake their resolves. They will do well to 
put themselves under the guidance of some good man of experience and pious life, learned 
In the Scriptures, loving the poor more than money, superior to the seductions of flattery, 
and loving God above all things. Specific directions are given for the monastic life, and 
monks are urged to retirement, silence, and the study of the Scriptures. 

The third discourse, which Is brief, is a summary of similar recommendations. The 
monk ought moreover to labour with his hands, to reflect upon the day of judgment, to suc- 
cour the sick, to practise hospitality, to read books of recognized genuineness, not to 
dispute about the doctrine of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, but to believe in and confess 
an uncreate and consubstantial Trinity. 

(ii) Next in order come the Procemium de yudtcio Dei (Trpnoi^iov Tzepl Kpijiaroq Qeov) and 
the De Fide {irspl Trhreug) . These treatises were prefixed by Basil to the Moralia. He 

1 § 39. 2 cf. De Sp. ^. p. . 3 § 240. 4 § 5^. 5 § 14,. 

•5 The tradition that Adam's skull was found at the foot of the cross gave rise to the frequent representation of a skull in 
Christian art. Instances are given by Mr. Jameson, Hist, of our Lord, i. 22. Jeremy Taylor, {.Life of our Lord, Part iii. § xv.) 
quotes Nonnus (/» Joann. xix. 17) : 

Ei(r6/c6 xwpov iKave (jyaTi^ofj-evoio Kpaviov 
A6aju. TrpwTO^ovoio ^epcivuju.oj' at'Tvyi Kopcrrj?. 

cf. Orig-en, /n Matt. Tract. 35, and Athan, De Pass, et Cruc. Jerome speaks of the tradition in reference to its association 
with the words " As in Adam all die, so in Christ shall all be made alive," as " smooth to the ear, but not true." One version 
of the tale was that Noah took Adam's bones with him in the ark ; that on Ararat they were divided, and the head fell to Seth's 
share. This he buried at Golgotha. <:/". Fabricius i. 61. 

^ LXX. i-nKa.Jvvtv 6 '^Stjs rr^v (f>v\riv avTOv ical Sirjvoi.^e to (TTO/xa auroO. ^ cf. Ceillier VI. viii, 2. 



PROLEGOMENA. H 



states that, when he enquired into the true causes of the troubles which weighed heavily 
on the Church, he could only refer them to breaches of the commandments of God. 
Hence the divine punishment, and the need of observing the Divine Law. The apostle 
says that what is needed is faith working by love. So St. Basil thouo^ht it necessary to append 
an exposition of the sound faith concerning the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, and 
so pass in order to morals.' It has, however, been supposed by some ^ that the composition 
published in the plan as the De Fide is not the original tract so entitled, but a letter on 
the same subject written, if not during the episcopate, at least in the presbyterate. This 
view has been supported by the statement '' Thus we believe and baptize." ^ 

This, however, might be said generally of the custom obtaining in the Church, without 
reference to the writer's own practice. Certainly the document appears to have no con- 
nexion with those among which it stands, and to be an answer to some particular request 
for a convenient summary couched in scriptural terms."* Hence It does not contain the 
Homoousion, and the author gives his reason for the omission — an omission which, he 
points out, is in contrast with his other writings against heretics.* Obviously, therefore, 
this composition is to be placed in his later life. Yet he describes the De Fide as being 
anterior to the Moralia. 

It will be remembered that this objection to the title and date of the extant De Fide 
implies nothing against its being the genuine work of the archbishop. 

While carefully confining himself to the language of Scripture, the author points out 
that even with this aid, Faith, which he defines as an impartial assent to what has been 
revealed to us by tlie gift of God,® must necessarily be dark and incomplete. God can 
onlv be clearly known in heaven, when we shall see Him face to face.' The statement that 
had been requested is as follows : 

''We believe and confess one true and good God, Father Almighty, of Whom are all 
things, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ : and His one Onh'-begotten Son, 
our Lord and God, Jesus Christ, only true, through Whom all things were made, both visible 
and invisible, and by Whom all things consist : Who was in the beginning with God and was 
God, and, after this, according to the Scriptures, was seen on earth and had His conversa- 
tion v/ith men: Who being in the form of God thought it not robbery to be equal with 
God, but emptied Himself, and by means of the birth from a virgin took a servant's form, 
and was formed in fashion as a man, and fulfilled all things written with reference to Him 
and about Him, according to His Father's commandment, and became obedient unto death, 
even the death of the Cross. And on the third day He rose from the dead, according 1o 
the Scriptures, and was seen by His holy disciples, and the rest, as it is written : And He 
ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of His Father, whence He is coming 
at the end of this world, to raise all men, and to give to every man according to his con- 
duct. Then the just shall be taken up into life eternal and the kingdom of heaven, but 
the sinner shall be condemned to eternal punishment, where their worm dieth not and the 
fire is not quenched : And in one Holy Ghost, the Comforter, in Whom we were sealed to 
the day of redemption : The Spirit of truth, the Spirit of adoption, in Whom we cry, Abba, 
Father ; Who divideth and worketh the gifts that come of God, to each one for our good, as 
He will ; Who teaches and calls to remembrance all things that He has heard from the 
Son ; Who is good ; Who guides us into all truth, and confirms all that believe, both In 
sure knowledge and accurate confession, and in pious service and spiritual and true worship 
of God the Father, and of His only begotten Son our Lord, and of Himself.'"* 

(Hi) The Moralia (Tar^Buid) is placed in 361, in the earlier days of the Anomcean 
heresy. Shortly before this time the extreme Arians began to receive this name,* and it is 
on the rise of the Anomoeans that Basil is moved to write. The work comprises eighty 
Rules of Life, expressed in the words of the New Testament, with special reference to the 
needs of bishops, priests, and deacons, and of all persons occupied in education. 

Penitence consists not only in ceasing to sin, but in expiating sin by tears and morti- 
fication.'" Sins of ignorance are not free from peril of judglnent." 

Sins into which we feel ourselves drawn against our will are the results of sins to 
which we have consented.'^ Blasphemy against the Holy Ghost consists in attributing 



^ De Jud. Dei.^'B,. ^ 2 r/. CeilNer VI. viii. 3. 

3 oiiTco? tjipouovfJ-eu Kol ouTW? BajTrc^Ojaci/ ei? ToiaSa ojaoou<7toi'. Kara rrjv €i'To\'r)i> avrov Toi) kvoCov r^ix'-^v \r}To'j XpLCTTOv etTTOt'TO? 
TTopevOei'Te^ jtxa^TjTeuo-aTe k.t.\. §; the co-essential Trinity being described as involved in the baptismal formula. 

" TvyKaTa^eo't? aStafcpi to; tmv aKOvrrOevTcov ev nXrfoO'fiOOin tyj^ a\rf9<;(a<; ruiv K-qpv^Oevriov 0eo" yiioiTL. § I. ' § 2. 

8 The rest of the claise seems to be rather in the way of explanation and assertion, and here he explains, as cited before, 
that the h;ipti-mal formula involves the homoousion. 

» Ath., 2?^ 5y«. § 31, in this series, p.467. ^'^ Reg.i, ^^ Reg^.'vc, >^ Re£^.xi. 



lii BASIL. 

to the devil the good works which the Sphit of God works in our brethren.* We ought 
carefully to examine whether the doctrine offered us is conformable to Scripture, and if 
not, to reject it."^ Nothing must be added to the inspired words of God ; all that is 
outside Scripture is not of faith, but is sin.^ 

(iv) I'he Regulce fusius tractatce {bpot Kara TrXdrog) , 55 ^^ number, and the Regulce 
brevLus tractates {bpoi Kaf emToiiTjv) ^ in number 313, are a series of precepts for the guid- 
ance of religious life put in the form of question and answer. The former are invariably 
supported by scriptural authority. 

Their genuineness is confirmed by strong external evidence."* Gregory of Nazianzus 
{Or, xliii. § 34) speaks of Basil's composing rules for inonastic life, and in ^/. vi. intimates 
that he helped his friend in their composition.^ Rufinus {II,E, ii. 9) mentions Basil's 
Instituta MonacJioru??!. St. Jerome {De Vir, illust. cxvi.) says that Basil wrote 
rr>a7;c7r^s'oy, and Photius {Cod. 191) describes the Asccticurn as including the llegulce. 
Sozomen {H.E. iii. 14) remarks that the Regulce were sometimes attributed to Eusta- 
thius of Sebaste, but speaks of them as generally recognised as St. Basil's. 

The monk who relinquishes his status after solemn profession and adoption is to be 
regarded as guilty of sacrilege, and the faithful are warned against all intercourse with 
him, with a reference to 2 Thess. iii. 14.® 

Children are not to be received from their parents except with full security for pub- 
licity in their reception. They are to be carefully instructed in the Scriptures. They are 
not to be allowed to make any profession till they come to years of discretion (XV.). Tem- 
perance is a virtue, but the servants of God are not to condemn any of God's creatures as un- 
clean, and are to cat what is given them. (XVIII.) Hospitality is to be exercised with the 
utmost frugality and moderation, and the charge to Martha in Luke x. 41, is quoted with the 
reading bllyuv6e hrtxp^'a v hog ' and the interpretation '^few," namely for provision, and ''one," 
namely the object in view, — enough for necessity. It would be as absurd for monks to change 
the simplicity of their fare on the arrival of a distinguished guest as it would be for them to 
change tlieir dress (XX.). Rule XXI. is against unevangelical contention for places at table, 
and Rule XXII. regulates the monastic habit. The primary object of dress is said to be 
shewn by the words of Genesis,** where God is said to have made Adam and Eve "coats 
of skins," or, as in the LXX., x^'^^^f^c ^^p/J-arlvovg, i.e, tunics of hides. This use of tunics was 
enou'j^h for covering what was unseemly. But later another object was added — that of 
securing warmth by clothing. So we must keep both ends in view — decency, and pro- 
tection against the weather. Among articles of dress some are very serviceable ,• some are 
less so. It is better to select what is most useful, so as to observe the rule of poverty, and 

1 Reg. XXXV. 2 Reg. xxviii. 

3 Reg. Ixxx. § 22. Fessler {De Pat, Scec. iv. p. 514) notes the similarity of a Homily, De perfectione vitcB Monachorumy 
published under the name of St. Basil in a bor)k published by C. p\ Matthsei at Moscow in 1775, entitled 5ba««/5 Xiphilini 
et Basiln M. aliquot orationes. He describes it as quite unworthy in style of St. Basil, 

* Com beris, however, refused to accept them. 6 In this series, p. 44S. 

6 With this may be compared tlie uncompromising- denunciation in Letter cclxxxviii., and what is said in the first of the 
three Tractatus Prcevii. It has been represented that St. Basil introduced the practice of irrevocable vows. cf. Dr. Travers 
Smitli, St. Basil, p. 223. De Broglie, U Eglise et Vampire, v. 180: ^* Avant lui, c^etait, aux yetix de beaucoup de ceux meme 
qui s\y destinaient, une vocation libre, affaire de gout et de zele, pouvant etre dilaissee a volonte, comme elle avait He em- 
brassee par chois. Le sceau de la perpetuite obligatoire, ce fut Basile qui V im prima ; c'est a hit reellemetit que remonte. 




posthumous influence the system may 

Bat it seems questionable whL-ther St. Basil's Rule included formal vows of perpetual obligation in the more modern sense. I 
ain not quite sure that tlie passa^^es cited fully bear this out. Is the earnest exhortation not to quit the holier life consistent 
with a binding? pledge? Would not a more distinctly authoritative tone be adopted.'' cf. Letters x!v. and xlvi. It is plnin that 
a reminder was needed, and that the plea was possible that the profession had not the binding force of matrimonv. The line 
taken is rather that a monk or nun ought to remain in his or her profession, and that it is a grievous sin to abandon it, than 
that there is an irrevocable contract. So in the Sernio asceticus {\t is not universally accepted), printed by Garnier between 
the Moralia and the Regulcz, it is said: «» Before the profession of the religious life, any one is at liberty to get the good 
of this life, in accordance with law and Custom, and to give himself to the yoke of wedlocft. But when he has been enlisted, of 
his own consent, it is fitting (Trpoorrj/cei) that he keep himself for God, as one of the sacred offerings, so that he may not risk 
incurring the damnation of sacrilege, by defiling in the service of this world the body consecrated bv promise to God." This 
7j-joT/)<rt is repeated in the Regtilce. Basil's monk, says Fialon {Et. Hist., p. 49) was irrevocably bound by the laws of the 
Church, by public opini m, and, .«^/// w<7r^, by his conscience. It is tothelast that the founder of the organisation seems to 
appeal. In Letter ■k\v\. the reproach is not addressed merely to a *' religifuse echappee de son cloitre,''* as De Broglie has it, but to 
a nun guilty of unch istitv. Vows of virginity were among the earliest of religious obligations, {cf. J. Martyr, Apol. i. 15, 
Athenyaras, Les^at . ,^2, Origen, C. Celsum. vii. 48.) 

Basil (Cin. xvili.) punishes a breach of the vow of virginity as he does adultery, hut it was not till the Benedictine rule 
was estabhshei in Eurone |hat it was generally regarded as absolutely irrevocable, {cf. D.C.A. s.v. " Nun," ii. p. 1411, and 
H. C. r^'Ji's History of Celibacy, Philadelphia, 1S67.) As a matter of fact. Basil's ccenobitic monasticism, in comparison with 
the " wilder and more dreamy asceticism which prevailed ip Egypt and Syria" (Milman, Hist. Christ, iii. ioq). was " fjir more 

I moderate and practical." It was a community of self denying practical beneficence. Work and worship were to aid one 
another. This was the highest life, and to quit it was desertion of and disloyalty to neighbour and God. To Basil, is it not 

I rather the violation of holiness than the technical breach of a formal vow which is sacrilege? I.ea (p. loi) quotes Epiphanius 
{Panar.60 as saving that it was better for a lapsed monk to take a lawful wife and be reconcijed to the church through 
Penance. Basil in Can. Ix. (p. 2;6) contemplates a similar reconciliation. 
7 Supported by {<, B, C, and L. 8 jn. 21. 



PROLEGOMENA. liii 



to avoid a variety of vestments, some for show, others for use; some for day, some for 
night. A single garment must be devised to serve for all purposes, and for night as w^ell 
as day. As tlie soldier is known by his uniform, and the senator by his robe, so the Chris- 
tian ought to have his own dress. Shoes are to be provided on the same principle, they 
are to be simple and cheap. The girdle (XXIII.) is regarded as a necessary article of dress, 
not only because of its practical utility, but because of the example of the Lord Who 
girded Himself. In Rule XXVI. all secrets are ordered to be confided to the superintendent 
or bishop.^ If the superintendent himself is in error (KXVII.) he is to be corrected by other 
brothers. Vicious brethren (XXVIII.) are to be cut off like rotten limbs. Self-exaltation 
and discontent are equally to be avoided (XXIX.). XXXVII. orders that devotional exercise 
is to be no excuse for idleness and shirking work. Work is to be done not only as a chas- 
tisement of the body, but for the sake of love to our neighbour and supplying weak and sick 
brethren with the necessaries of life. The apostle ^ says that if a man will not work he 
must not eat. Daily work is as necessary as daily bread. The services of the day are thus 
marked out. The first movements of heart and mind ought to be consecrated to God. 
Therefore early in the morning nothing ought to be planned or purposed before we have 
been gladdened by the thought of God; as it is written, "I remembered God, and was 
gladdened ; " ^ the body is not to be set to work before we have obeyed the command, 
'' O Lord, in the morning shalt thou hear my voice; in the morning will I order my 
prayer unto thee." * Again at the third hour there is to be a rising up to prayer, and the 
brotherhood is to be called together, even though they happen to have been dispersed to 
various works. The sixth hour is also to be marked by prayer, in obedience to the words 
of the Psalmist,* ''Evening, and morning, and at noon will I pray, and cry aloud: and 
He shall hear my voice." To ensure deliverance from the demon of noon-day,^ the XCIst 
Psalm is to be recited. The ninth hour is consecrated to prayer by the example of the 
Apostles' Peter and John, who at that hour went up into the Temple to pray. Now the day 
is done. For all the boons of the day, and the good deeds of the day, we must give thanks. 
For omissions there must be confession. For sins voluntary or involuntaiy, or unknown, we 
must appease God in prayer.® At nightfall the XCIst Psalm is to be recited again, mid- 
night is to be observed in obedience to the example of Paul and Silas, ^ and the injunction of 
the Psalmist. ^° Before dawn we should rise and pray again, as it is written, " Mine eyes 
prevent the night watches." " Here the canonical hours are marked, but no details are 
given as to the forms of prayer, 

XL. deals with the abuse of holy places and solemn assemblies. Christians ought not 
to appear in places sacred to martyrs or in their neighbourhood for any other reason than to 
pray and commemorate the sacred dead. Anything like a worldly festival or common- 
mart at such times is like the sacrilege of the money changers in the Temple precincts.'^ 

LI. gives directions for monastic discipline. '' Let the superintendent exert discipline 
after the manner of a physician treating his patients. He is not angry with the sick, but 
fights with the disease, and sets himself to combat their bad symptoms. If need be, he 
must heal the sickness of the soul by severer treatment; for example, love of vain glory, 
by the imposition of low 1}^ tasks; foolish talking, by silence; immoderate sleep, by watch- 
ing and prayer; idleness, by toil ; gluttony, by fasting; murmuring, by seclusion, so that 
no brothers may work with the offender, nor admit him to participation in their works, till 
by his penitence that needeth not to be ashamed he appear to be rid of his complaint." 

LV. expounds at some length the doctrine of original sin, to which disease and death 
are traced.- 

The 313 RegulcB brevius tractatce are, like the Regulce fusius iractatce^ in the form of 
questions and answers. Fessler singles out as a striking specimen XXXIV. 

Q. '' How is any one to avoid the sin of man-pleasing, and looking to the praises of 
men ? " 

A. *' There must be a full conviction of the presence of God, an earnest intention to 

1 Tw TrpoecTTtuTi. c/*. Just. Mart. y4/o/. i. § 87. * 2 Thess. iii. lo. ^ Ps. Ixxvii. 3, LXX. * Ps. v. 3. "Ps. Iv. 17. 

<5 Ps. xci. 6, LXX. hai\i.6viov nearifjiBpivoy. cf. Jer. Taylor, Serm. ii. pt. 2 : " Suidas " (Col. 1227) "teils of certain 
empusae that used to appear a noon, at such times as the Greeks did celebrate the funerals of the dead; and at this time some 
of the Russians do fear the noon-day devil, which appeareth like a mourning widow to reapers of hay and corn, and uses to 
break their arms and legs unless they worship her." 7 Acts iii. i. 

8 cf. Pythag. Aur. Carm. 40 (quoted by Jer. Taylor xn Holy Living and Holy Dying] : /otrjS' vnvov fxa^aKolacv in o/x/xao-t 
7rpo<r5e'^aa0at, noiv tu>v r}fji€OLVUiV epywv rpl? eKacrrov eiTe\9ilv, tt^ nape^rjv ; ti 8' epe^a ; ri /aot 6eov ov/c ereAeaflrj. 

» Acts xvi. 25. ^'^ Ps. cxix, 62, 11 Ps. cxix. 148. 

12 cf. Letter clxix. and notes on this case in the Prolegomena. It is curious to notice in the Oriental church a survival of 
somethinjr akin to the irreverence deprecated by St. Hasil. A modern traveller in Russia has told me that on visitiny a o'reat 
cemetery on the day which the Greek church observes, like November a in the Latin, in memory of the dead, he found a'vast 
and cheerlul picnic going on. 



liv BASIL. 

please Him, and a burning desire for the blessings promised by the Lord. No on^ before 
his Master's very eyes is excited Into dishonouring his Master and bringing condemnation 
on himself, to please a fellow servant." 

XLVIL points out that it is a grave error to be silent when a brother sins. 

XLIX. tells us that vain gloriousness (to TrepirepeveaOai. Cf. I Cor. xiii. 4) consists in 
taking things not for use, but for ostentation ; and L. illustrates this principle in the case 
of dress. 

Q. '' When a man has abandoned all more expensive clothing, does he sin, and, if so, 
how, if he wishes his cheap upper gannent or shoes to be becoming to him?" 

A. '^ If he so wishes in order to gratify men, he is obviously guilty of the sin of man- 
pleasing. He is alienated from God, and is guilty of vain glory even in these cheap 
belongings." 

LXIV. is a somewhat lengthy comment on Matt, xviii. 6. To " make to oflend," 
or " to scandalize," is to induce another to break the law, as the serpent Eve, and Eve 
Adam. 

LXXXIII. is pithy. 

Q. ^' If a man is generally in the right, and falls into one sin. how are we to treat 
him.?" 

A. ''As the Lord treated Peter." 

CXXVIII. is on fasting. 

Q. " Ought any one to be allowed to exercise abstinence beyond his strength, so that 
he is hindered in the performance of his duty.?" 

A. *' This question does not seem to me to be properly worded. Temperance^ does 
not consist in abstinence from earthly food, '^ wherein lies the 'neglecting of the body** 
condemned by the Apostles, but in complete departure from one's own wishes. And how 
great is the danger of our fiilling away from the Lord's commandment on account of our 
own wishes is clear from the words of the Apostle, ' fulfdling the desires of the flesh, and 
of the mind, and wereb}^ nature the children of wrath.'" * The numbers in the Coenobium 
are not to fall below ten, the number of the eaters of the Paschal supper.^ Nothing is to 
be considered individual and personal propert}-.® Even a man's thoughts are not his 
own.' Private friendships are harmful to the general interests of the community.^ At 
meals there is to be a reading, which is to be thought more of than mere material food.* 
The cultivation of the ground is the most suitable occupation for the ascetic life.^'' No fees 
are to be taken for the charge of children entrusted to the monks." Such children are not 
to be pledged to join the community till they are old enough to understand what they are 
about. '^ 

* eyKpareta. Gal. V. 23. 

2 a\oya Spui/xaTa. Conibefis translates " terreni cibiJ'^ Garnier " nihil ad rem pertineiitiam.''^ 3 Col. ii. 23. 

* Eph. ii. 3. 5 Sermo Asceiicus, 3. 6 Re^^, brev. tract. Ixxxv., but see note on p. . 

7 Procem. in Reg. f us. tract. 

8 Sermo Asceticus. 5. The sacrifice of Gregory of Nazianzus may have been due to the idea that all private interests 
must be subordinated to those of the Church. 

* Reg. brev. tract, clxxx. 10 Reg.fus. tract, xxxviii. 'i l^eg. brev. tract, ccciy. 

^2 Reg. fun. tract, xv. After the Regiilce are printed, in Garnier's Kd. 34, Co7istittitiones Moriasticts, with the note that 
their tjenuineness is more suspicious than that of any of the ascetic wiitiniis. They treat of the details of monastic life, of the 
virtues to be cultivated in it and the vices to be avoided. Sozomen {H.E.'\n. 14) has been supposed to refer to them. All later 
criticism has been unfavourable to them. cf. Maran, Vit. Bas. xliii. 7; Ceillier VI. viii. 3; Fessler, p. 524. It may be 
remaiked generally that the asceticism of St. Basil is eminently practical. He has no notion of mortihcation for mortification's 
sake. — no praise for the self advertising and vain-glorious rigour of the Styliles. Neglecting the body, or " not sparing the 
body "by exagi^^erated mortification, is in cclviii. condemned as Manicliaeism. It is of course always an objection to exclusive 
exaltation of the ascetic life that it is a kind of moral docetism, and ignores the fact that Christianity has not repudiated all 
concern with the body, but is designed 10 elevate and to purify it. {cf. Bohringer vii. p. 150.) Basil mayoc not unjustly 
criticised from this point of view, and accused of the very Manichzeism which he distinctly condemns. But it will be remembered 
that he recognises the holiness of marriageand family life, and if he thinks virginityand ccenobitism a higher life, has no mercy 
for the dilettante asceticism of a morbid or indolent ^* iticivisme." VaIens,from the point of view of a master of legions, might 
deplore monastic celibacy, and press Egyptian monks by thousands into the ranks of his army. (t/. Milman, Hist. Christ. 
iii. 47.) Basil from his point of view was equally positive that he was making useful citizens, and that his industrious 
associates, of clean and frugal lives, were doing good service. ^ 

" En effet, le moine basilien, n' est pas, comme le cenobite d'' Fgypte, separe du monde par iin micr infranchissable. ' Les 
poissons meurent* disait Saint Antoine, ' quand on les tire de Veaii. et les nioines s''enervent dans les villes ; rentrnns vite dans 
les montagnes, comme les poissons dans Veau.'' (Moiitalembert, Moines d' Occident , i. 61.) Les moinesbasiliejis vivent aussi 
dans la solitude pour gagner le del, mais ils ne veulent pas le gogner seuls. . . . Les principaux,au moins, dofvent se 
meler a la socicte pour Vinstruire. Cet homme a la ch^velure negligee, a la demarche posie, dont Voeil 7ies s''igare jamais, 
ouvre son monastere a ses sembables, on va les trouver, du moment gti'il s^agit de leur edification. Son contact fortifie le 
cler^e ; tl entre lui-meme dans les ordres, et de^neitt collaborateur de Veveque. II va aux fetes des martyr!^ et prcche dans les 
e^lises. II entre dans les matsons, prend part aiix conversations, aux repas, et, tout en evitant les longs entretiens et les 
liaisons aux les femmes, et le directeur et le compagnon de picte des dmes. . . . Le moine ne doit pas seulement so7ilager 
les moeux de VAme. Les maisons des pauvres, dont se couvrait une parlie de VAsie Mineure, etatent des asiles ouverts a toutes 
les souffrances physiques. . . . Pour Basile, ces deux institutions, le monastere et la maisons des pauvres, quoique separces 
et distincta, n'en formaient qu''nne. A ses yetix, les secours corporels it'etaient qu^un moyen d^arriver a Vdme. Pendant 
que la main du moine servail les voyageurs. nourissait les pauvres. pausait les malades. ses levres leur disiribuatent une 
aumdne plus precieuse, celle de la parole de Dieu." F'lnlnn, ^t Historique, pp. S^Si' -A- high ideal! Perhaps nevermore 
nearly realized than in the Cappadocian ccenobia of the fourth century. 



PROLEGOMENA. Iv 



IV. HOMILETICAL. 

Twenty-four homilies on miscellaneous subjects, published under St. Basil's name, are 
n^enerally accepted as genuine. They are conveniently classified as (i) Dogmatic and 
Exegetic, (ii) Moral, and (iii) Panegyric. To Class (i) will be referred 

III. Li Illud^ Attende tibi ipsi, 

VI. /;/ Illud^ Destruam horrea^ etc* 

IX. In Ilhid^ ^uod Deus non est auctor malorum* ,• 

XII. In principiu?n Proverbiorum. 

XV. De Fide. 

XVI. In Illud^ In principio erat Verbutn, 

XXIV. Contra Sab ell ianos et Arium et Anomceos* 

Class (ii) will include 

I. and II. De yejunio, 

IV. De gratiarujn actione* 
VII. In Divites. 

VIII. In fainem et siccitatem. 

X. Adversus beatos. 

XI. De invidia. 

XIII. In Sanctum Baptlsmum* 

XIV. In Ebriosos. 
XX. De humilltate, 

XXI. ^uod rebus mundanis adJicerendum non sit^ et de incendio extra ecclc' 
siam facto. 

XXII. Ad adolescentes^ de lege^idis libris Gentllium, 

The Panegyric (iii) are 

V. In inartyrem yulittam. 

XVII. In Barlaam martyrem, 

XVIII. In Gordiujn martyr em. 

XIX. In sanctos quadraglnta martyres* 

XXIII. In Alamantem martyr em. 

Homily III. on Deut. xv. 9,* is one of the eight translated by Rufinus. Section 2 
begins : 

*' * Take heed,' it is written, ' to thyself.' Every living creature possesses within him- 
self, by the gift of God, the Ordainer of all things, certain resources for self protection. 
Investigate nature with attention, and you will find that the majority of brutes have an 
instinctive aversion from what is injurious ; while, on the other hand, by a kind of natural 
attraction, they are impelled to the enjoyment of what is beneficial to them. Wherefore 
also God our Teacher has given us this grand injunction, in order that what brutes possess 
by nature may accrue to us by the aid of reason, and that what is performed by brutes un- 
wittingly may be done by us through careful attention and constant exercise of our reason- 
ing faculty. We are to be diligent guardians of the resources given to us by God, ever 
shunning sin, as brutes shun poisons, and ever hunting after righteousness, as they seek for 
the herbage that is good for food. Take heed to thyself, that thou mayest be able to dis- 
cern between the noxious and the wholesome. This taking heed is to be understood in a 
twofold sense. Gaze with the eyes of the body at visible objects. Contemplate incor- 
poreal objects with the intellectual faculty of the soul. If we say that obedience to the 
charge of the text lies in the action of our eyes, we shall see at once that this is impossi- 
ble. How can there be apprehension of the whole self through the eye? The eye cannot 
turn its sight upon ttself; the head is beyond it; it is ignorant of the back, the counte- 
nance, the disposition of the intestines. Yet it were Impious to argue that the charge of 
the Spirit cannot be obeyed. It follows then that it must be understood of intellectual 
action. ' Take heed to thyself.' Look at thyself round about from every point of view. 

1 LXX. np6<Te\e o'eavrcp. 



Ivi BASIL. 

Keep thy soul's eye sleepless ' in ceaseless watch over thyself. ' Thou goest in the midst 
of snares.'^ Hidden nets are set for thee in all directions by the enemy. Look well 
around thee, that thou niayest be delivered ' as a gazelle from the net and a bird from the 
snare.' ^ It is because of her keen sight that the gazelle cannot be caught in the net. It 
is her keen sight that gives her her name."* And the bird, if only she take heed, mounts 
on her lisfht winof far above the wiles of the hunter. 

" Beware lest in self protection thou prove inferior to brutes, lest haply thou be caught 
in the gins and be made the devil's prey, and be taken alive by him to do with thee as he 
will." 

A striking passage from the same Homily is thus rendered by Rufinus : " Considcra 
ergo primo omnliun quod homo es^ id est solum in terres animal ipsis divinis via^iibus 
for malum. Nonne sitfficeret hoc solum rede at que integre sapient i ad inagnum sttm- 
7numque solutium^ quod ipsius Dei manibus qui o?nnia reliqua prcecepti soUus J^ecit 
auctoritate subsistere., homo Jictus es etformatusf Tum deinde quod cum ad imagincm 
Creatoris et similitudinem sis^ poles sponte etiam ad angelorum dignitatem culmenque 
remeare. Animam namque accepisti inlellectuale7?t^ et rationalefn,, per quam Deuvz 
possis agnoscere., et naturam rerum conspicabili rationis intelligentia contc7nplari: 
sapienticB dulcissitnis fructibus perfrui prcesio est, Tibi omnium cedit animantium, 
genus., quce per connexa montium vel prc^rupta rupium aut opaca silvarum fer74ntur ; 
omne quod vel aquis tegitur., vel prcepetibus pennis in acre suspenditur. Omne., inquam.^ 
quod hujus mundi est., servitis et subjectioiii tuce liberalis Tuunijiceniia conditoris in- 
dulsit. Nonne tu., sensu tibi rationdbili suggerente,^ diversitates artium reperisti? 
Nonne tu urbes condere.^ omnemque earum reliquum usum pernecessarium viventibus in- 
venisti? Noitne tibi per rationem quce in te est m.are pervium jit? Terra., Jiumina., 
fontesque tuis vel usibus vel voluptatibus famulantur, Nonne aer hie et ccehtjn ipsum 
atque o?n?zes stellarum chori vitce mortalium ministerio cursus sues atque ordines 
servant P ^uid ergo dejicis animo., et deesse tibi aliquid putas., si non tibi cquus pro- 
ducitur phaleris exornatus et sp?^ma7zti ore frena mandens argentca? Sed sol tibi 
producitur., veloci rapidoque cursu ardentes tibi faces caloris simul ac lumiizis portans. 
NoJt habes aureos et argenteos discos : sed habes lunce discum purissimo et blandissimo 
splendore radiantem* Non ascendis currum.^ nee rotarum lupsibus veheris., sed habes 
pedufn tuorum vehiculujn tecmn natum. ^uid ergo beatos censes eos qui aurum quidc7)i 
possisent., alicnis autetn pedibus indigefit.^ ad necessarios commeatus^ Non recubas 
eburneis thoris., sed adjacent fecundi cespites viridantes et herbidi thori., jloru7n 
varietate melius quam fucatis coloribus Tyrii muricis picti., in quibus dulces et salubres 
somni nullis curarum 77iorsibus effugantur* Non te co7ttegunt aurata laquearia ; sed 
coelu772 te contegit ineffabili fulgore stellarum depictui7i, Ucec quide77i quant?^77i ad 
co7nmu7iem hu77ianitatis attinet vita77i. Accipe vero 7najora, Propter te Deus in ho77i~ 
inibus., Spiritus sancti distributio., 77iortis ablatio., resurrectio7iis spcs. Propter te 
divijta prcBcepta homi7iibus delata., quce te perfecta^n docea7tt vitam., et iter tuum ad 
Deum per 7nandatoru7n tra7nite77t dirigant. Tibi pandiuitur regna cceloru7n., tibi 
coronce justitice prcEparantur ; si tamen labores et ceru7nnas pro justitia ferre non 
refugis.'' ^ 

Homily VI., on Luke xii. i8, is on selfish wealth and greed. 

Beware, says the preacher,^ lest the fate of the fool of the text be thine. " These things 
are written that we may shun their imitation. Imitate the earth, O man. Bear fruit, as 
she does, lest thou prove inferior to that which is without life. She produces her fruits, 
not that she may enjoy them, but for thy service. Thou dost gather for thyself whatever 
fruit of good works thou hast shewn, because the grace of good works returns to the giver. 
Thou hast given to the poor, and the gift becomes thine own, and comes back with in- 
crease. Just as grain that has fallen on the earth becomes a gain to the sower, so the loaf 
thrown to the hungry man renders abundant fruit thereafter. Be the end of thy husbandry 
the beginning of the heavenly sowing. ' Sow,' it is written, * to yourselves in righteous- 
ness.* ' Why then art thou distressed.? Why dost thou harass thyself in thy efforts to 
shut up thy riches in clay and bricks? 'A good name is rather to be chosen than great 
riches.' ** If thou admire riches because of the honour that comes from them, bethink thee 
how very much more it tends to thine honour that thou shouldst be called the father of 

1 aKoifji-qTov. On the later existence of an order of sleepless monks, known as the Acoemetae. cf. Theodoret, £p. cxli. p. 
309, in this series, and note. 

2 Ecclus. ix. 13. 3 Prov. V. 5, LXX. * Sop^a?, from Se'pKo/nat, = j^^r. So Tabitha f5yr.) = keen-sighted. 
5 § 6. 6 § 3. 1 Hos. X. 13. 8 Prov. ii. i . 



PROLEGOMENA. Ivii 



innumerable children than that thou shouldst possess innumerable staters in a purse. Thy 
wealth thou wilt leave behind thee here, even though thou like it not. The honour won 
by thy good deeds thou shalt convey with thee to the Master. Then all people standing 
round about thee in the presence of the universal Judge shall hail thee as feeder and bene- 
factor, and give thee all the names that tell of loving kindness. Dost thou not see theatre- 
goers flinging away their wealth on boxers and buflbons and beast-fighters, fellows whom 
it is dissfustino; even to see, for the sake of the honour of a moment, and the cheers and 
clapping of the crowd? And art thou a niggard in thy expenses, when thou art destined 
to attain glory so great? God will welcome thee, angels will laud thee, mankind from the 
very beginning will call thee blessed. For thy stewardship of these corruptible things thy 
reward shall be glory everlasting, a crown of righteousness, the heavenly kingdom. Thou 
thinkest nothing of all this. Thy heart is so fixed on the present that thou despisest what 
is waited for in hope. Come then; dispose of thy wealth in various directions. Be gen- 
erous and liberal in thy expenditure on the poor. Let it be said of thee, ' He hath dis- 
persed, he hath given to the poor ; his righteousness endureth for ever.' ^ Do not press 
heavily on necessity and sell for great prices. Do not wait for a famine before thou open- 
est thy barns. ' He that withholdeth corn, the people shall curse him.*^ Watch not for 
a time of want for gold's sake — for public scarcity to promote thy private profit. Drive 
not a huckster's bargains out of the troubles of mankind. Make not God's wrathful visita- 
tion an opportunity for abundance. Wound not the sores of men smitten by the scourge. 
Thou keepest thine eye on thy gold, and wilt not look at thy brother. Thou knowest the 
marks on the money, and canst distinguish good from bad. Thou canst not tell who is thy 
brother in the day of distress." 

The conclusion is ^ " 'Ah ! * — it is said — ' words are all very fine : gold is finer.' I 
make the same impression as I do when I am preaching to libertines against their unchas- 
tity. Their mistress is blamed, and the mere mention of her serves but to enkindle their 
passions. How can I bring before your eyes the poor man's sufterings that thou mayest 
know out of what deep groanings thou art accumulating thy treasures, and of what high 
value will seem to thee in the day of judgment the famous words, ' Come, ye blessed of 
my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the wcrld : for I 
was an hungred and ye gave me meat : I was thirsty and ye gave me drink : . . . I 
was naked and ye clothed me.' ^ What shuddering, what sweat, what darkness will be 
shed round thee, as thou hearest the words of condemnation! — * Depart from me, ye 
cursed, into outer darkness prepared for the devil and his angels : for I was an hungred and 
ye gave me no meat : I was thirsty and ye gave me no drink : . . . I was naked and ye 
clothed me not.' * I have told thee what I have thought profitable To thee now it is 
clear and plain what are the good things promised for thee if thou obey. If thou disobey, 
for thee the threat is written. I pray that thou mayest change to a better mind and thus 
escape its peril. In this way thy own vv^ealth will be th}' redemption. Thus thou mayest 
advance to the heavenly blessings prepared for thee by the grave of Him who hath called 
us all into His own kingdom, to Whom be glory and might for ever and ever. Amen." 

Homily IX. is a demonstration that God is not the Author of Evil. It has been con- 
jectured that it was delivered shortly after some such public calamity as the destruction of 
Nicasa in 36S. St. Basil naturally touches on j^assages which have from time to time 
caused some perplexity on this subject. He asks* if God is not the Author of evil, how 
is it said " [ form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create evil," ' and again, 
" The evil came down from the Lord unto the gate of Jerusalem, "** and again, ''Shall 
there be evil in a city and the Lord hath not done it," ^ and in the great song of Moses, 
" See now that I, even I, am he and there is no god with me: I kill and I make alive, I 
wound and I heal " ? ^^ But to any one who understands the meaning of Scripture no one of 
these passages accuses God of being the Cause and Creator of evil. He who uses the 
words, '* I form the light and create darkness," describes Himself not as Creator of any 
evil, but as Demiurge of creation. "It is lest thou shouldst suppose that there is one cause 
of light and another of darkness that He described Himself as being Creator and Artificer 
of parts of creation which seem to be mutually opposed. It is to prevent thy seeking one 
Demiurge of fire, another of water, one of air and another of earth, these seeming to have 
a kind of mutual opposition and contrariety of qualities. By adopting these views many 

* Ps. cxii. 9. 2prov. xi.26. ^ § 8. * Matt. xxv. 34. 

•''Matt. XXV. 41. With the variation of"outer darkness " for " everlasting- fire" and the omission of the clause about 
<;trangers. In this passage, it is not a robber who is accused ; the condemnation falls upon him who has not shared what he 
has. ® § 4« ' is. xi/. 7. 8 Micah i. iz. * Amos iii. 6. 10 Deal, xxxii. 39. 



Iviii BASIL. 

have ere now fallen into polytheism, but He makes peace and creates evil. Unquestionably 
He makes peace in thee when He brings peace into thy mind by His good teaching, and 
calms the rebel passions of thy soul. And He creates evil, that is to say. He reduces 
those evil passions to order, and brings them to a better state so that they may cease to be 
evil and may adopt the nature of good. ' Create in me a clean heart, O God.'* This 
does not mean Make now for thejirst time; ^ it means Renew the heart that had becofne old 
frotn wickedness. The object is that He may make both one.^ The word create is used 
not to imply the bringing out of nothing, but the bringing into order those which already 
existed. So it is said, *" If any man be in Christ he is a new creature.** Again, Moses 
says, ' Is not He thy Father that hath bought thee.f^ Hath He not made thee and created 
thee?'° Now, the creation put in order after the making evidently teaches us that the 
word creation, as is commonly the case, is used with the idea of improvement. And so it 
is thus that He makes peace out of creating evil ; that is, by transforming and bringing to 
improvement. Furthermore, even if you understand peace to be freedom from war, and 
evil to mean the troubles which are the lot of those who make w^ar ; marches into far 
regions, labours, vigils, terrors, sweatings, wounds, slaughters, taking of towns, slavery, 
exile, piteous spectacles of captives ; and, in a word, all the evils that follow upon war, 
all these things, I say, happen by the just judgment of God, Who brings vengeance 
through war on those who deserve punishment. Should you have wished that Sodom had 
not been burnt after her notorious wickedness? Or that Jerusalem had not been overturned, 
nor her temple made desolate after the horrible wickedness of the Jews against the Lord? 
How otherwise was it right for these things to come to pass than by the hands of the 
Romans to whom our Lord had been delivered by the enemies of His life, the Jews? 
Wherefore it does sometimes come to pass that the calamities of war are righteously in- 
flicted on those who deserve them — if you like to understand the words 'I kill and I 
make alive' in their obvious sense. Fear edifies the simple. 'I wound and I heal' is at 
once perceived to be salutary. The blow strikes terror ; the cure attracts to love. But it 
is permissible to thee to find a higher meaning in the words, ' I kill ' — by sin; '1 make 
alive' — by righteousness. ' Though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is re- 
newed day by day.' * He does not kill one and make another alive, but He makes the 
same man alive by the very means by which He kills him ; He heals him by the blows 
which He inflicts upon him. As the proverb has it, ' Thou shalt beat him with the rod 
and shalt deliver his soul from hell.' ' The flesh is smitten that the soul may be healed; 
sin is put to death that righteousness may live. In another passage ® it is argued that death 
is not an evil. Deaths come from God. Yet death is not absolutely an evil, except in the 
case of the death of the sinner, in which case' departure from this world is a beginning of 
the punishments of hell. On the other hand, of the evils of hell the cause is not God, but 
ourselves. The orisfin and root of sin is what is in our own control and our free will." 

Homily XII. is ^* on the beginning of the proverbs." '' The proverbs of Solomon, the 
son of David, king of Israel." ® 

'' The name proverbs {liapoiixiat) has been by heathen writers used of common ex- 
pressions, and of tliose which are generally used in the streets. Among them a way is 
called otaoq, whence they define a Trapoifila to be a common expression, which has be- 
come trite through vulgar usage, and which it is possible to transfer from a limited number 
of subjects to many analogous subjects.*" With Christians the Trapocfila is a serviceable utter- 
ance, conveyed with a certain amount of obscurity, containing an obvious meaning of much 
utility, and at the same time involving a depth of meaning in its Inner sense. Whence the 
Lord says : ' These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs, but the time cometh when I 
shall no more speak unto you in proverbs, but I shall shew you plainly of the Father.'" ** 

On the '' wisdom and instruction " of verse 3, it is said: Wisdom is the science of 
things both human and divine, and of their causes. He, therefore, who is an eflective 
theologian *^ knows wisdom. The quotation of i Cor. ii. 6, follows. 

On general education it is said,*^ '' The acquisition of sciences is termed education,** 
as it is written of Moses, that he was learned '^ in all the wisdom of the Egyptians.*^ But 
it is of no small importance, with a view to man's sound condition,^' that he should not 

1 Ps li. lo. ^ Sr)ij.Lovpyr)<Tov. s c/. Eph. ii. 14. < 2 Cor. v. 17. ^ peut. xxxii. 6, LXX. 

*' 2 Cor. iv. 16. "^ Prov. xxiii. 14. ^ § 3- ^ Prov. i. 

^'^ Trapoiuia is defined by Hesychius the Alexandrian grammarian, who was nearly contemporary with Basil, as a /3tc<>(/)€AT)s 
Aoyos, napH rrju oSbf Acyo/xei'O?. 

11 John xvi. 25. 12 e7rLT€Tevyixevu}<: OioKoyei, • " § 6. 1* jj tu)V fiadrjudTiiiv avdkrf\f/t.s TraiSec'a AeyeTac. 

lo enaiSevOrj. ic Acts vii. 23. 1^ (ruiTrjpia, 



PROLEGOMENA. lix 



devote himself to any sciences whatsoever, but should become acquainted with the educa- 
tion which is most profitable. It has ere now happened that men who have spent their 
time in the study of geometry, the discovery of the Egyptians, or of astrology, the favour- 
ite pursuit of the Chaldseans, or have been addicted to the loftier natural philosophy ' which 
is concerned with figures and shadows, have looked with contempt on the education which 
is based upon the divine oracles. Numbers of students have been occupied with paltry 
rhetoric, and the solution of sophisms, the subject matter of all of which is the false and 
unreal. Even poetry is dependent for its existence on its myths. ^ Rhetoric would not be 
but for craft in speech. Sophistics must have their fallacies. Many men for the sake of 
these pursuits have disregarded the knowledge of God, and have grown old in the search 
for the unreal. It is therefore necessary that we should have a full knowledge of education, 
in order to choose the profitable, and to reject the unintelligent and the injurious. Words 
of wisdom will be discerned by the attentive reader of the Proverbs, who thence patiently 
extracts what is for his good." 

The Homily concludes with an exhortation to rule life by the highest standard. 

" Hold fast, then, to the rudder of life. Guide thine eye, lest haply at any time through 
thine eyes there beat upon thee the vehement wave of lust. Guide ear and tongue, lest the 
one receive aught harmful, or the other speak forbidden words. Let not the tempest of 
passion overwhelm thee. Let no blows of despondency beat thee down ; no weight of 
sorrow drown thee in its depths. Our feelings are waves. Rise above them, and thou 
wilt be a safe steersman of life. Fail to avoid each and all of them skilfully and steadily, 
and, like some untrimmed boat, with life's dangers all round about thee, thou wilt be sunk 
in the deep sea of sin. Hear then how thou mayest acquire the steersman's skill. Men 
at sea are wont to lift up their eyes to heaven. It is from heaven that they get guidance 
for their cruise ; by day from the sun, and by night from the Bear, or from some of the 
ever-shining stars. By these they reckon their right course. Do thou too keep thine eye 
fixed on heaven, as the Psalmist did who said, ' Unto thee lift I up -mine e3^e, O thou that 
dwellest in the heavens.' ^ Keep thine eyes on the Sun of righteousness. Directed by the 
commandments of the Lord, as by some bright constellations, keep thine eye ever sleep- 
less. Give not sleep to thine eyes or slumber to thine eyelids,* that the guidance of the 
commandments may be unceasing. ' Thy word,' it is said, ' is a lamp unto my feet, and 
a light unto my paths.' ^ Never slumber at the tiller, so long as thou livest here, amid the 
unstable circumstances of this world, and thou shalt receive the help of the Spirit. He 
shall conduct thee ever onward. He shall waft thee securely by gentle winds of peace, till 
thou come one day safe and sound to yon calm and waveless haven of the will of God, to 
Whcmi be s^loryand majesty for ever and ever, Amen." 

Homilies XV. and XVI. are more distinctly dogmatic. They do not present the 
doctrines of which they treat in any special way. XV., De Flde^ is concerned rather with 
the frame of mind of the holder and expounder of the Faith than with any dogmatic formula. 

XVI., on John i. i, begins by asserting that every utterance of the gospels is grander 
than the rest of the lessons of the Spirit, inasmuch as, while in the latter He has spoken to 
us through His servants the proj)hets, in the gospels the Master has conversed with us face 
to face. '' The most mighty voiced herald of the actual gospel proclamation, who uttered 
words loud beyond all hearing and lofty beyond all imderstanding, is John, the son of 
thunder, the prelude of whose gospel is the text." After repeating the words the preacher 
goes on to say that he has known many who are not within the limits of the word of truth, 
many of the heathen, that is, '' who have prided themselves upon the wisdom of this world, 
who in their admiration for these words have ventured to insert them among their own 
writings. For the devil is a thief, and carries off our property for the use of his own 
prophets." ' 

1 fx€T€<i)po\oyt.a. The word had already been used by Plato in a certain contemptuous sense, cf. Pal. 299 B. : fj.eTeMp6\oyou 
aSoXeVxTji' TtvA (T0(|)iaTi7i'. But not always, ^._^. Crat. 401, B. : Km^vv^vovai yovv ot Tipwrot Td ovofJ-aTa Ti^e/xei'ot ou <|>aOAoi elvai, 
aWa. fxeTewpoA-oyoi tiv;s Ka.\ aSoAe'crxai. 

2 Grcijory of Nazianzus was publishing verses which formed no unworthy early link in the Catena Poetarunt Christian- 
orum, in our sense of the word poet. Basil may have in his mind the general idea that the Poetics of the heathen schools 
were all concerned with mythical inventions. 

3Ps. xxiii. I. ■* <y. Ps. cxxxii. 4. 6 Ps. cxix. 105. 

6 Tliere are instances of high admiration of the passage: I have not found one of appropriation. Au^-ustine {Di' Civ. 
Dei X. 29), says : '* ^uod initium .Sa?trti Evan^elii, cui nomen est secundum yohatinem, quidam Platonicus, sicut a sayicto 
sene Simhftciano, qui pnstea ecclesice Mediolanensi prcesedit episcopus, solebantus audire, aureis litteris conscribendtim et p>^r 
omnes ecclesias in locis eminentissimis proponenaum esse dicebat.^^ Eusebius {PrcBp. Evang. xi. 17 and iS) refers to the 
statements of Plotinus and Numerius on the fieurepo? airio?, and (19) mentions Aurelius (on Aurelius z;z'c/^ Misheini's note on 
Cudworth''^ Tilt. Svf:tem, vol. i. cap. iv. 17), as quoting the passage in question. Vide also Theodoret, Grczc. Aff. 33, and 
Bentley*s Remarks on Freethinkingt § xlvi. 



Ix BASIL. 

'' If the wisdom of the flesh has been so smitten with admiration for the force of the 
words, what are we to do, who are disciples of the Spirit? . . . Hold fast to the text, 
and you will sufi'er no harm from men of evil arts. Suppose your opponent to argue, ' If 
He was begotten. He was not,' do you retort, ' In the beginning He was.' But, he will 
go on, ' Before He was begotten, in what way was He?' Do not give up the words * He 
was.' Do not abandon the words ' In the beginning.' The highest point of beginning 
is beyond comprehension ; what is outside beginning is beyond discovery. Do not let any 
one deceive you by the fact that the phrase has more than one meaning. There are in this 
world many beginnings of many things, yet there is one beginning which is beyond them 
all. * Beginning of good way,' says the Proverb. But the beginning of a way is the 
first movement whereby we begin the journey of which the earlier part can be discovered. 
And, ' The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.' * To this beginning is prefixed 
something else, for elementary instruction is the beginning of the comprehension of arts. 
The fear of the Lord is then a primary element of wisdom, but there is something anterior 
to this beginning — the condition of the soul, before it has been taught wisdom and appre- 
hended the fear of the Lord. . . . The point is the beginning of the line, and the 
line is the beginning of the surface, and the surface is the beginning of the body, and the 
parts of speech are the beginnings of grammatical utterance. But the beginning in the text 
is like none of these. .../;? the beginning was the Wordl Marvellous utterance ! 
How all the words are found to be combined in mutual equality of force ! 'Was' has 
the same force as ' In the beginning.' Where is the blasphemer? Where is the tongue 
that fights against Christ? Where is the tongue that said, 'There was when He was 
not' ? Hear the gospel : ''In the beginning was,* If He was in the beginning, when 
was He not? Shall I bewail their impiety or execrate their want of instruction? But, 
it is argued, before He was begotten. He was not. Do you know when He was begot- 
ten, that you may introduce the idea of priority to the time? For the word 'before ' is 
a word of time, placing one thing before another in antiquity. In what way is it reasona- 
ble that the Creator of time should have a generation subjected to terms of time? ''In the 
beginning ivas — ' Never give up the was^ and you never give any room for the vile 
blasphemy to slip in. Mariners laugh at the storm, when they are riding upon two 
anchors. So will 30U laugh to scorn this vile agitation which is being driven on the world 
by the blasts of wickedness, and tosses the faith of many to and fro, if only you will keep 
your soul moored safely in the security of these words." 

In § 4 on the force of with Godi^ " Note with admiration the exact appropriateness 
of every single word. It is not said ' The Word was in God.' It runs ' was with God.' 
This is to set forth the proper cliaracter of the hypostasis. The Evangelist did not say 
' in God,' to avoid giving any pretext for the confusion of the hypostasis. That is the 
vile blasphemy of men who are endeavouring to confound all things together, asserting that 
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, form one subject matter, and that different appellations are 
applied to one thing. The impiety is vile, and no less to be shunned than that of those 
who blasphemously maintain that the Son is in essence unlike God the Father. The 
Word was with God. Immediately after using the term Word to demonstrate the impassi- 
bility of the generation, he forthwith gives an explanation to do away with the mischief 
arising in us from the term Word. As though suddenly rescuing Him from the blas- 
phemers' calumny, he asks, what is the Word? The Word was God. Do not put before 
me any ingenious distinctions of phrase ; do not with your wily cleverness blaspheme the 
teachings of the Spirit. You have the definitive statement. Submit to the Lord. The 
Word was God.^* 

Homily XXIV., against the Sabellians, Arlans, and Anomoeans, repeats points which 
are brought out again and again in the £>e Spiritu Sa?zcto^ in the work Against Eunomius^ 
and in some of the Letters. 

Arianism is practical paganism, for to make the Son a creature, and at the same time 
to offer Him worship, is to reintroduce polytheism. Sabellianism is practical Judaism, — 
a denial of the Son.^ John i. i, xiv. 9, 7, xvi. 28. and viii. 16 are quoted against both 
extremes. There may be a note of time in the admitted impatience of the auditory at 
hearing of every other subject than the Holy Spirit. The preacher is constrained to speak 
upon this topic, and he speaks with the combined caution and completeness which char- 
acterize the De Spiritu Sancto. "Your ears," he savs, " are all eager to hear something 
concerning the Holy Ghost. My wish would be, as I have received in all simplicity, as I 

^ Prov. i. 7. > irpbs Tov ®t6v. 3 cf, ccx. p. ;^9. 



PROLEGOMENA. Ixi 



have assented witli guileless agreement, so to deliver the doctrine to you my hearers. I 
would if I could avoid being constantly questioned on the same point. I would have my 
disciples convinced of one consent. But you stand round me rather as judges than as 
learners. Your desire is rather to test and try me than to acquire anything for yourselves. 
I must therefore, as it were, make my defence before the court, again and again giving 
answer, and again and again saying what I have received. And you I exhort not to be 
specially anxious to hear from me what is pleasing to yourselves, but rather what is pleas- 
ing to the Lord, what is in harmony with the Scriptures, what is not in opposition to the 
Fathers. What, then, I asserted concerning the Son, that we ought to acknowledge His 
proper Person, this I have also to say concerning the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is not 
identical with the Father, because of its being written *• God is a Spirit.'^ Nor on the 
other hand is there one Person of Son and of Spirit, because it is said, * If any man have 
not the spirit of Christ he is none of his. . . . Christ is in you.' "^ From this passage 
some persons have been deceived into the opinion that the Spirit and Christ are identical. 
But what do we assert? That in this passage is declared the intimate relation of nature 
and not a confusion of persons. For there exists the Father having His existence perfect 
and independent, root and fountain of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. There exists also 
the Son living in full Godhead, Word and begotten offspring of the Father, independent. 
Full too is the Spirit, not part of another, but contemplated wliole and perfect in Himself. 
The Son is inseparably conjoined with the Father and the Spirit with the Son. For there 
is nothing to divide nor to cut asunder the eternal conjunction. No age intervenes, nor 
yet can our soul entertain a thought of separation as though the Only-begotten were not 
ever with the Father, or the Holy Ghost not co-existent with the Son. Whenever then 
we conjoin the Trinity, be careful not to imagine the Three as parts of one undivided thing, 
but receive the idea of the undivided and common essence of three perfect incorporeal 
[existences]. Wherever Is the presence of the Holy Spirit, there is the indwelling of 
Christ: wherever Christ Is, there the Father is present. 'Know ye not that your body 
is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you ?' " ^ 

First of the Homilies on moral topics come I. and IL on Fasting. The former is of 
uncontested genuineness. Erasmus rejected the latter, but it is accepted without hesitation 
by Garnier, Maran and Ceilller, and is said by the last named to be quoted as Basil's by 
John of Damascus and Symeon Logothetes. From Homily L two passages are cited 
by St. Augustine against the Pelagians.* The text is Ps. Ixxx. 3. " Reverence," says one 
passage,^ '' the hoary head of fasting. It Is coseval with mankind. Fasting was ordained 
in Paradise. The first Injunction was delivered to Adam, ' Of the tree of the knowledge 
of good and evil thou shalt not eat.' ^ 'Thou shalt not eat' is a law of fasting and 
abstinence." The general argument is rather against excess than in support of ceremonial 
abstinence. In Paradise there was no wine, no butchery of beasts, no eating of flesh. 
Wine came in after the flood. Noah became drunk because wine was new to him. So 
fasting is older than drunkenness. Esau was defiled, and made his brother's slave, for the 
sake of a single meal. It was fasting and prayer which gave Samuel to Hannah. Fasting 
brought forth Samson. Fasting begets prophets, strengthens strong men. Fasting 
makes lawgivers wise. Is the soul's safeguard, the body's trusty comrade, the armour of 
the champion, the training of the athlete. 

The conclusion is a warning against mere carnal abstinence.' '•• Beware of limiting the 
good of fasting to mere abstinence from meats. Real fasting Is alienation from evil. 
* Loose the bands of wickedness.'^ Forgive your neighbour the mischief he has done 
you. Forgive him his trespasses against you. Do not 'fast for strife and debate.'^ 
You do not devour flesh, 'out you devour your brother. You abstain from wine, but you 
indulge in outrages. You wait for evening before you take food, but you spend the day in 
the law courts. Wo to those who are 'drunken, but not with wine.' ^° Anger is the 
intoxication of the soul, and makes it out of its wits like wine. Drunkenness, too. Is 
sorrow, and drowns our intelligence. Another drunkenness is needless fear. In a word, 
whatever passion makes the soul beside herself may be called drunkenness. 
Dost thou know Whom thou art ordained to receive as thy guest .^ He Who has promised 
that He and His Father will come and make their abode with thee.'* Why do you allow 
drunkenness to enter in, and shut the door on the Lord.^ Why allow the foe to come in 
and occupy your strongholds.'' Drunkenness dare not receive the Lord ; it drives away the 

1 John iv. 24. 3 I Cor. vi. 19. " § 3- ^ § 10. " Is. Iviii. 4. 11 cf. John xiv. 23. 

a Rom. viii. 9 and 10. * August, in y«//a«. i. iS. " Gen. iii. 17. 8 Js. iviii. 6. 1° Is. li. 21. 



Xll 



BASIL. 



Spirit. Smoke drives away bees, and debauch drives away the gifts of the Spirit. . . . 
Wilt thou see the nobility of fasting? Compare this evening with to-morrow evening: 
thou wilt see the town turned from riot and disturbance to profound calm. Would that 
to-day might be like to-morrow in solemnity, and the morrow no less cheerful than to-day. 
May the Lord Who has brought us to this period of time grant to us, as to gladiators and 
wrestlers, tiiat w^e may shew hrmness and constancy in the beginning of contests, and may 
reach that day which is the Qiieen of Crowns; that we may remember now the passion of 
salvation, and in the age to come enjoy the requital of our deeds in this life, in the just 
judgment of Christ." ' 

Homily IV. on the giving of thanks (Tvepl evxapiariag)^ is on text i Thess. v. i6. 
Our Lord, it is remarked, wept over Lazarus, and He called them that mourn 
blessed. How ^ is this to be reconciled with the charge *' Rejoice alway "? " Tears and 
joy have not a common origin. On the one hand, while the breath is held in round the 
heart, tears spontaneously gush forth, as at some blow, when an unforeseen calamity smites 
upon the soul. Joy on the other hand is like a leaping up of the soul rejoicing when things 
go well. Hence come different appearances of the body. The sorrowful are pale, livid, 
chillv. The habit of the joyous and cheerful is blooming and ruddy ; tlieir soul all but leaps 
out of their body for gladness. On all this I shall say that the lamentations and tears of the 
saints were caused by their love to God. So, with their eyes ever fixed on the object of 
their love, and from hence gathering greater joy for themselves, they devoted themselves 
to the interests of their fellow-servants. Weeping over sinners, they brought them to better 
ways by their tears. But just as men standing safe on the seashore, while they feel for 
those who are drowning in the deep, do not lose their own safety in their anxiety for those 
in peril, so those who groan over the sins of their neighbours do not destroy their own 
proper cheerfulness. Nay, they rather increase it, in that, through their tears over their 
brother, they are made worthy of the joy of the Lord. W^herefore, blessed are they that 
weep ; blessed are they that mourn ; for they shall themselves be comforted ; they them- 
selves shall laugh. But by laughter is meant not the noise that comes out through the 
cheeks from the boiling of the blood, but cheerfulness pure and untainted with despondency. 
The Apostle allows us to weep with weepers, for this tear is made, as it were, a seed and 
loan to be repaid with everlasting joy. Mount in mind with me, and contemplate the con- 
dition of the angels; see if any other condition becomes them but one of joy and gladness. 
It is for that they are counted worthy to stand beside God, and to enjoy the ineffable beauty 
and glory of our Creator. It is in urging us on to that life that the Apostle bids us always 
rejoice." 

The Homily contains an eloquent exhortation to Christian fortitude in calamity, and 
concludes with the charge to look beyond present grief to future felicity. *' Hast thou 
suffered dishonour.? Look to the glory which through patience is laid up for thee in 
heaven. Hast thou suffered loss.? Fix thine eyes on the heavenly riches, and on the treasure 
which thou hast put by for thyself through thy good works. Hast thou suffered exile.? 
Thy fatherland is the heavenly Jerusalem. Hast thou lost a child.? Thou hast angels, 
with whom thou shalt dance about the throne of God, and shalt be glad with everlasting 
joy. Set expected joys over against present griefs, and thus thou wilt preserve for thyself 
that calm and quiet of the soul whither the injunction of the Apostle calls us. Let not the 
brii^ditness of human success fill thy soul with immoderate joy; let not grief bring low thy 
soul's high and lofty exaltation through sadness and anguish. 'J'hou must be trained in the 
lessons of this life before thou canst live the calm and quiet life to come. Thou wilt 
achieve this without difficulty, if thou keep ever with thee the charge to rejoice alway. 
Dismiss the worries of the flesh. Gather together the joys of the soul. Rise above the 
sensible perception of present things. Fix thy mind on the hope of things eternal. Of 
these the mere thought suffices to fill the soul with gladness, and to plant in our hearts the 
happiness of angels." 

Homily VII., against the rich, follows much the same line of argument as VI. Two 
main considerations are urged against the love of worldly wealth ; firstly, the thought of 
tlie day of judgment; secondly, the fleeting and unstable nature of the riches themselves. 
The luxury of the fourth century, as represented by Basil, is much the same as the 
luxury of the nineteenth. 

'' I am filled with amazem ent," says the preacher, '' at the invention of superfluities. 

'„A 1 ^ '^''^ sermon seems tr. have been preached at the beginnin<r of Lent, when Csesarea was still suffering from Carnival 
indulgences. Jlomtly 11. may be placed at a similar season in another year. 2 § 4. 



PROLEGOMENA. Ixiii 



The vehicles are countless, some for conveying goods, others for carrying their owners; all 
covered with brass and with silver. There are a vast number of horses, whose pedigrees 
are kept like men's, and their descent from noble sires recorded. Some are for carrying 
their haughty owners about the town, some are hunters, some are hacks. Bits, girths, 
collars, are all of silver, all decked with gold. Scarlet cloths make the horses as gay as 
bridegrooms. There is a host of mules, distinguished by their colours, and their muleteers 
with them, one after another, some before and some behind. Of other household servants 
the number is endless, who satisfy all the requirements of men's extravagance ; agents, 
stewards, gardeners, and craftsmen, skilled in every art that can minister to necessity or 
to enjoyment and luxury; cooks, confectioners, butlers, huntsmen, sculptors, painters, 
devisers and creators of pleasure of every kind. Look at the herds of camels, some for 
carriage, some for pasture ; troops of horses, droves of oxen, flocks of sheep, herds of 
swine, with their keepers, land to feed all these, and to increase men's riches by its pro- 
duce ; baths in town, baths in the country ; houses shining all over with every variety of 
marble, — some with stone of Phrygia, others with slabs of Spartan or Thessalian.* There 
must be some houses warm in winter,^ and others cool in summer. The pavement is of 
mosaic, the ceiling gilded. If any part of the wall escapes the slabs, it is embellished with 
painted flowers. . . . You who dress your walls, and let your fellow-creatures go 
bare, what will you answer to the Judge .^^ You who harness your horses with splendour, 
and despise your brother if he is ill-dressed ; who let your wheat rot, and will not feed the 
hungry ; who hide your gold, and despise the distressed ? And, if you have a wealth- 
loving wife, the plague is twice as bad. She keeps your luxury ablaze ; she increases your 
love of pleasure ; she gives the goad to your superfluous appetites ; her heart is set on stones, 
— pearls, emeralds, and sapphires.^ Gold she works and gold she weaves,* and increases 
the mischief with never-ending frivolities. And her interest in all these things is no mere 
by-play : it is the care of night and day. Then what innumerable flatterers wait upon their 
idle wants ! They must have their dyers of bright colours, their goldsmiths, their per- 
fumers, their weavers, their embroiderers. With all their behests they do not leave their 
husbands breathing time. No fortune is vast enough to satisfy a woman's wants, — no, 
not if it were to flow like a river ! They are as eager for foreign perfumes as for oil from 
the market. They must have the treasures of the sea, shells and pinnas,* and more of 
them than wool from the sheep's back. Gold encircling precious stones serves now for an 
ornament for their foreheads, now for their necks. There is more gold in their girdles ; 
more gold fastens hands and feet. These gold-loving ladies are delighted to be bound by 
golden fetters, — only let the chain be gold ! When will the man have time to care for his 
soul, who has to serve a woman's fancies.'*" 

Homily VITL, on the Famine and Drought, belongs to the disastrous year 368. 
The circumstances of its delivery have already been referred to.® The text is Amos iii. 
8, ''The lion hath ro.ared : who will not fear.?" National calamity is traced to national 
sin, specially to neglect of the poor. Children, it appears,^ were allowed a holiday from 
school to attend the public services held to deprecate the divine wrath. Crowds of men, 
to whose sins the distress was more due than to the innocent children, wandered cheerfully 
about the town instead of coming to church. 

Homily X. is against the angry. Section 2 contains a description of the outward ap- 
pearance of the angry men. " About the heart of those who are eager to requite evil for 
evil, the blood boils as though it were stirred and sputtering by the force of fire. On the 
surface it breaks out and shews the angry man in other form, familiar and well known to 
all, as though it were changing a mask upon the stage. The proper and usual eyes of the 
angry man are recognized no more; his gaze Is unsteady, and fires up in a moment. He 
whets his teeth like boars joining battle. His countenance is livid and sufiused with 
blood. His body seems to swell. His veins are ruptured, as his breath struggles under 
the storm within. His voice is rough and strained. His speech — broken and fiiUIng from 
him at random — proceeds without distinction, without arrangement, and without meaning. 
When he Is roused by those who are irritating him, like a flame with plenty of fuel, to an 
inextinguishable pitch, then, ah! then Indeed the spectacle Is Indescribable and unen- 
durable. See the hands lifted against his fellows, and attacking every part of their bodies ; 

* A precious, red- streaked marble was quarried in Phryg^ia. The Spartan or Taenarian was the kind known as verde 
antico. cf. Bekker, Gallus. p. i6, n. The taste for the " Phry^fian stone " was an old one. cf, Hor., Carm. III. i. 41. 

* The Cappadocian winters were severe, cf. Ep. cxxi.. cxcviii., cccxlix. 
2 vaKiVdou?. See L. and S., s.v., and King's Antique Gems, 46. 

* i.e. she must have ornaments of wrouafht gold and stuff embroidered with gold. 

* cf. Hexae>Keron, p. 94. * p. xxi. ' § 3« 



Ixiv BASIL. 

see the feet jumping without restraint on dangerous parts. See whatever comes to hand 
turned into a weapon for his mad frenzy. The record of the progress from words to 
wounds recalls familiar lines which probably Basil never read.^ Rage rouses strife ; strife 
begets abuse ; abuse, blows ; blows, wounds ; and from wounds often comes death." 

"^ St. Basil, however, does not omit to notice ^ that there is such a thing as righteous in- 
dignation, and that we may " be angry and sin not." '' God forbid that we should turn into 
occasions for sin gifts given to us by the Creator for our salvation ! Anger, stirred at the 
proper time and In the proper manner, is an efficient cause of manliness, patience, and 
endurance. . . . Anger is to be used as a weapon. So Moses, meekest of men, 
armed the hands of the Levites for the slaughter of their brethren, to punish idolatry. The 
wrath of Phinehas was justifiable. So was the wrath of Samuel against Agag. Thus, 
anger very often is made the minister of good deeds." 

Homilv XL, against Envy, adduces the instances of Saul's envy of David, and that of 
the patriarchs against Joseph. It is pointed out that envy grows out of familiarity and 
proximity. ''A man is envied of his neighbour."^ The Scythian does not envy the 
Egyptian. Envy arises among fellow-countrymen. The remedy for this vice is to recog- 
nise the pettiness af the common objects of human ambition, and to aspire to eternal joys. 
If riches are n mere means to unrighteousness,* wo be to the rich man ! If they are a 
ministering to virtue, there is no room for envy, since the common advantages proceeding 
from them are open to all, — unless any one out of superfluity of wickedness envies himself 
his own good things ! 

In Homily XIII. , on Holy Baptism, St. Basil combats an error which had naturally 
arisen out of the practice of postponing baptism. The delay was made an occasion of 
license and indulgence. St. Augustine ° cites the homily as St. Chrysostom's, but the 
quotation has not weakened the general acceptance of the composition as Basil's, and as 
one of those referred to by Amphilochius.^ Ceillier mentions its citation by the emperor 
Justinian.' It was ap'parently delivered at Easter. Baptism is good at all times. ^ "Art 
thou a young man? Secure thy youth by the bridle of baptism. Has thy prime passed 
by? Do not be deprived of thy viaticum. Do not lose thy safeguard. Do not think of 
the eleventh hour as of the first. It is fitting that even at the beginning of life we should 
have the end in view.' 

''Imitate* the eunuch.'*' He found one to teach him. He did not despise instruction. 
The rich man made the poor man mount Into his chariot. The illustrious and the great 
welcomed the undistinguished and the small. When he had been taught the gospel of the 
kingdom, he received the faith in his heart, and did not put ofTthe seal of the Spirit." 

Homily XIV., against Drunkards, has the special interest of being originated by a 
painful incident which It narrates. The circumstances may well be compared with those 
of the scandal caused by the deacon Glycerins." Easter day, remarks St. Basil, is a day 
when decent women ought to have been sitting In their homes, piously reflecting on future 
judgment. Instead of this, certain wanton women, forgetful of the fear of God, flung their 
coverings from their heads, despising God, and In contempt of His angels, lost to all shame 
before the gaze of men, shaking their hair, trailing their tunics, sporting with their feet, 
with Immodest glances and unrestrained laughter, went off into a wild dance. They In- 
vited all the riotous youth to follow them, and kept up their dances In the Basilica of the 
Martyrs, before the walls of Caesarea, turning hallowed places into the workshop of their 
unseemliness. They sang Indecent songs, and befouled the ground with their unhallowed 
tread. They got a crowd of lads to stare at them, and left no madness undone. On this 
St. Basil builds a stirring temperance sermon. Section 6 contains a vivid picture of a 
drinking bout, and Section 7 describes the sequel. The details are evidently not imaginary. 

*' Sorrowful sight for Christian eyes! A man in the prime of life, of powerful frame, 
of high rank In the army, is carried furtively home, because he cannot stand upright, and 
travel on his own feet. A man who ought to be a terror to our enemies is a laughing 
stock to the lads in the streets. He is smitten down by no sword — slain by no foe. A 
military man. In the bloom of manhood, the prey of wine, and ready to sufl?er any fate his 
foes may choose I Drunkenness is the ruin of reason, the destruction of strength ; it Is un- 
timely old age ; it is, for a short time, death. 

" What are drunkards but the idols of the heathen ? They have eyes and see not, ears and 



* yurgia proludunt ; sed mox et poctila torques 
SauciuSf et rubra deterges vulnera mappa, 

... . *§S' ^ In Julian. \\. ^ Orat.ii. ..^ 

Acts vni. 27. 11 cf. Lttter clxix. and observations in Prolegomena^ p. xxix. 



Saucius, et rubra deterges vulnera mappa. Juv., Sat. v. 26. 

§.^_*. ... '■^"•^^"♦* *§S'„ . t^« y«/''?«- vi.. ^ Orat.n. _ ' C«>«c. v. p. 668. « § 5. » § 6. 



PROLEGOMENA. Ixv 



hear not.^ Their hands are helpless ; their feet dead.'* The whole Homily is forcible. It 
is quoted by Isidore of Pelusium/ and St. Ambrose seems to have been acquainted with it.^ 

Homily XX., on Humility, urges the folly of Adam, in sacrificing eternal blessings to 
his ambition, and the example of St. Paul in glorying only in the Lord.* 

Pharaoh, Goliath, and Abimelech are instanced. St. Peter is cited for lack of 
humility in being sure that he of all men will be true to the death. 

*' No detail can be neglected " as too insignificant to help us in ridding ourselves of pride. 
The soul grows like its practices, and is formed and fashioned in accordance with its con- 
duct. Your appearance, your dress, your gait, your chair, your style of meals, your bed 
and bedding, your house and its contents, should be all arranged with a view to cheapness. 
Your talk, your songs, your mode of greeting your neighbour, should look rather to 
moderation than to ostentation. Give me, I beg, no elaborate arguments in your talk, no 
surpassing sweetness in your singing, no v^auntlng and wearisome discussions. In all 
things try to avoid bigness. Be kind to your friend, gentle to your servant, patient with 
the impudent, amiable to the lowly. Console the afflicted, visit the distressed, despise 
none. Be agreeable in address, cheerful in reply, ready, accessible to all. Never sing 
your own praises, nor get other people to sing them. Never allowing any uncivil com- 
munication, conceal as far as possible your own superiority." ^ 

Homily XXL, on disregard of the things of this world, was preached out of St. Bnsil's 
diocese, very probably at Satala in 372.' The second part® is in reference to a fire which 
occurred in the near neighbourhood of the church on the previous evening. 

"Once more the fiend has shewn his fury against us, has armed himself with flame of 
fire, and has attacked the precincts of the church. Once more our common mother has 
won the day, and turned back his devices on himself. He has done nothing but advertise 
his hatred. . . . How do you not suppose the devil must be groaning to-day at the 
failure of his projected attempt? Our enemy lighted his fire close to the church that he 
might wreck pur prosperity. The flames raised on every side by his furious blasts were 
streaming over all they could reach; they fed on the air round about; they were being 
driven to touch the shrine, and to involve us in the common ruin ; but our Saviour turned 
them back on him who had kindled them, and ordered his madness to fall on himself. 
The congregation who have happily escaped are urged to live worthily of their pre- 
servation, shining like pure gold out of the furnace." 

Homily XXII. , which is of considerable interest, on the study of pagan literature, is 
really not a homily at all.^ It is a short treatise addressed to the young on their educa- 
tion. It would seem to have been written in the Archbishop's later years, unless the 
experience of which he speaks may refer rather to his earlier experience, alike as a student 
and a teacher. 

No source of instruction can be overlooked in the preparation for the great battle 
of life,'^ and there is a certain advantage to be derived from the right use of heathen 
w^riters. The illustrious Moses is described as training his intellect in the science of the 
Egyptians, and so arriving at the contemplation of Him Who is." So in later days Daniel 
at Babylon was wise in the Chaldean philosophy, and ultimately apprehended the divine 
instruction. But granted that such heathen learning is not useless, the question remains 
how you are to participate in it. To begin with the poets. Their utterances are of very 
various kinds, and it will not be well to give attention to all without exception. When 
they narrate to you the deeds and the words of good men, admire and copy them, and 
strive diligently to be like them. When they come to bad men, shut your ears, and avoid 
imitating them, like Ulysses fleeing from the sirens' songs. ^^ Familiarity with evil words 
is a sure road to evil deeds, wherefore every possible precaution must be taken to prevent 
our souls from unconsciously imbibing evil influences through literary gratification, like 
men who take poison in honey. We shall not therefore praise the poets when they revile 
and mock, or when they describe licentious, intoxicated characters, when they define happi- 



ness as consisting in a laden table and dissolute ditties. Least of all shall we attend to the 

1 Ps. cxv. 5. 2 I Ep, Ixi. 3 De Eh. et Tejiatio. c. iS. * i Cor. i. 30, 31. * § 7» 

« Here several touches remind us of Theophrastus. cf. Char, xxiii. and xxiv. 

7 Ceillier, VI. viii. 2. ^§9. 

9 It has often been separately published. In 1600 it was included by Martin Haynoccius in an Enchiridion Ethicum, 
containing- also Plutarch's two tract'^ nn the education of boys and the study of the poets, with which it is interesting- to com- 
pare it. Grotius published it with Plutarch's De Legendis Poet is at Paris in 1623. They were also published together by 
Archbishop Potter at Oxford in 1691. if* § 2, 

1' roi) oi'To?. The hig-hest heathen nhilosophy strove to reach the neuter to ov. The revelation of Jehovah is of the 
masculine 6 Jiv, who communicates with his creatures, and says e-yw et/at, 

12 Hom., Od. xii. 15S. cf. Letter i. p. 109. 



Ixvi BASIL. 

poets when they are talking about the gods, specially when their talk is of many gods, 
and those in mutual disagreement. For among them brother is at variance with brother, 
parent against children, and children wage a truceless war against parents. The gods' 
adulteries and amours and unabashed embraces, and specially those of Zeus, whom they 
describe as the chief and highest of them all,— things which could not be told without 
a blush of brutes, —all this let us leave to actors on the stage.' 

I must make the same remark about historians, specially when they write merely to 
please. And we certainly shall not follow rhetoricians in the art of lying. ... I 
have been taught by one well able to understand a poet's mind that with Homer all his 
poetry is praise of virtue, and that in him all that is not mere accessory tends to this end. 
A marked instance of this is his description of the prince of the Kephallenians saved 
naked from shipwreck. No sooner did he appear than the princess viewed him with 
reverence; so far was she from feeling anything like shame at seeing him naked and 
alone, since his virtue stood him in the stead of clothes. '^ Afterwards he was of so much 
estimation among the rest of the Phaeacians that they abandoned the pleasures amid 
which they lived, all looked up to him and imitated him, and not a man of the Phaeacians 
prayed for anything more eagerly than that he might be Ulysses, — a mere waif saved from 
shipwreck. Herein my friend said that he was the interpreter of the poet's mind; that 
Homer all but said aloud. Virtue, O men, is what you have to care for. Virtue swims 
out with the shipwrecked sailor, and when he is cast naked on the coast, virtue makes him 
more noble than the happy Phaeacians. And truly this is so. Other belongings are 
not more the property of their possessors than of any one else. They are like dice flung 
hither and thither in a game. Virtue is the one possession which cannot be taken away, 
and remains with us alike alive and dead. 

It is in this sense that I think Solon said to the rich, 

'A/IA* rjnelQ avTolq ov SiajueiipojueBa 

T7jg apeT?}g rov TcTiOvrov • etceI to fiev ijuTredov alei, 

'X-p^/Ltara d' avOpcjiruv dTiTiore d/lAof ix^i"^ 

Similar to these are the lines of Theognis,'* in which he says that God (whatever 
he means by " God") inclines the scale to men now one way and now another, and so at 
one moment they are rich, and at another penniless. Somewhere too in his writings 
Prodicus, the Sophist of Chios, has made similar reflexions on vice and virtue, to 
whom attention may well be paid, for he is a man by no means to be despised. So far as 
I recollect his sentiments, they are something to this efibct. I do not remember the exact 
words, but the sense, in plain prose, was as follows: ^ 

Once upon a time, when Hercules was quite young, and of just about the same age as 
yourselves, he was debating within himself which of the two ways he should choose, the one 
leading through toil to virtue, the other which is the easiest of all. There approached him 
two women. They were Virtue and Vice, and though they said not a word they straight- 
way shewed by their appearance what was the difference between them. One was tricked 
out to present a fair appearance with every beautifying art. Pleasure and delights were 
shed around her and she led close after her innumerable enjoyments like a swarm of bees. 
She showed them to Hercules, and, promising him yet more and more, endeavoured to 
attract him to her side. The other, all emaciated and squalid, looked earnestly at the lad, 
and spoke in quite another tone. She promised him no ease, no pleasure, but toils, labours, 
and perils without number, in every land and sea. She told him that the reward of all 
this would be that he should become a god (so the narrator tells it). This latter Her- 
cules followed even to the death. Perhaps all those who have written anything about 
wisdom, less or more, each according to his ability, have praised Virtue in their writings. 

»This shews th:it the shameless and cruel exhibitions of earlier davs had not died out even in the fourth century, c/. 
Suetonius, yV^z-o xi., xii., Terlullian. A/>o/. 15. On the whole subject, see Bp. Li^-htfoot's note on St. Clem. Rom., Ep. ad 
Cor. VI., where Aai/aiSe? Kai Atpxat is probably a misreading for j/eij/iSes waiS (j/cai. He refers for illustrations to Friedlander, 
bittenffeschichte Roms, ii. 2:^4. 2 Qd. vi. 131; k.t.K. 

3 Tiiese lines are attributed to Solon by Plutarch, in the tract ttw? av tl<; vn' exOpMycj^fXolTo, but they occur among the 
c\ciria.c 'j^noma" of^ ThtiOirnis, lines 316-31S. Fronton du Due in his notes on the Horn I'lt'es points out that they are also 
quoted 111 Plutarch's life ot Solon. Basil was well acquainted with Plutarch, (cf. references in the notes to the Hexaemeron.) 

* The lines are : 

Zeu? yap rot to TaXavTOv eirippen-ei aAAore aXAws 

'AAAore \i.kv TrAovreit', aAAore 6' ouSev ex^*^* Theog. 157. 

"The story of The Choice of Hercules used to be called, from Prodicus (ofCeos. not Chios) Hercules Prodicitis. 
Suidas says that the title of the work quoted was fioai. The allegory is given at length in Xenophon's Memorabilia (II. i. 21) 
in Dion Chrysostom's Regnum, and in Cicero {De Officiis i. 32), who refers to Xenophon. It is imitated in the Somnium of 
Lucian. 



PROLEGOMENA. Ixvii 



These must be obeyed, and the effort made to show forth their teaching in the conduct of 
life. For he alone is wise who confirms in act the philosophy which in the rest goes no 
farther than words. They do but flit like shadows ' 

It is as though some painter had represented a sitter as a marvel of manly beauty, and 
then he were to be in reality what the artist had painted on the panel. But to utter 
glorious eulogies on virtue in public, and make long speeches about it, while in private 
putting pleasure before continence and giving gain higher honour than righteousness, is 
conduct which seems to me illustrated by actors on the stage : they enter as monarchs and 
magnates, when they are neither monarchs nor magnates, and perhaps even are only 
slaves. A singer could never tolerate a lyre that did not match his voice, nor a coryphaeus 
a chorus that did not chant in tune. Yet every one will be inconsistent with himself, and 
will f^^iil to make his conduct agree with his words. The tongue has sworn, but the heart 
has never sworn, as Euripides^ has it; and a man will aim at seeming, rather than at being, 
good. Nevertheless, if we may believe Plato, the last extreme of iniquity is for one to seem 
just without being just.^ This then is tlie way in which we are to receive writings which 
contain suggestions of good deeds. And since the noble deeds of men of old are preserved 
for our benefit either by tradition, or in the works of jwets and historians, do not let us 
miss the good we may get from them. For instance : a man in the street once pursued 
Pericles with abuse, and persisted in It all day. Pericles took not the slightest notice. 
Evening fell, and darkness came on, and even then he could hardly be persuaded to 
give over. Pericles lighted him home, for fear this exercise in philosophy might be 
lost.* Again : once upon a time a fellow who was angry with Euclid of Megara threatened 
him with death, and swore at him. Euclid swore back that he would appease him, 
and calm him in spite of his rage.^ A man once attacked Socrates the son of Sophro- 
niscus and struck him again and again in the face. Socrates made no resistance, but 
allowed the drunken fellow to take his fill of frenzy, so that his face was all swollen 
and bloody from the blows. When the assault was done, Socrates, according to the story, 
did nothing besides writing on his forehead, as a sculptor might on a statue, '' This is so 
and so's doing." ^ 

This was his revenge. Where conduct, as in this case, is so much on a par with 
Christian conduct,' I maintain that it is well worth oiu* while to copy these great men. 
The behaviour of Socrates on this occasion is akin to the ^ precept that we are by no 
means to take revenge, but to turn the other cheek to the smiter. So the conduct of 
Pericles and Euclid matches the commands to put up with persecutors, and to 
bear their wrath with meekness, and to invoke not cursing but blessing on our enemies. 
He who has been previously Instructed In these examples will no longer regard the precepts 
as impracticable. I should like, too, to Instance the conduct of Alexander, when he had 
captured the daughters of Darius.^ Their beauty is described as extraordinary, and 
Alexander would not so much as look at them, for he thought it shameful that a conqueror 
of men should be vanquished by women. This is of a piece with the statement that he 
who looks at a woman impurely, even though he do not actually commit the act of adultery 
with her. Is not free from Its guilt, because he has allowed lust to enter his heart. Then 
there Is the case of Clinlas, the follower of Pythagoras; It is difficult to believe this is a case 
of accidental, and not Intentional, imitation of our principles.^ What of him? He might 
have escaped a fine of three talents by taking an oath, but he preferred to pay rather than 
swear, and this when he would have sworn truly. He appears to me to have heard of the 
precept which orders us to swear not at all.*^ To return to the point with which I began. 
We must not take everything Indiscriminately, but only what Is profitable. It would be 

* cf. Horn., Od. X. 494, where it is said of Teiresias : 

Tul Ktti T^QvrfiiTt roov Trope riepcret^dveta, 
Olo) iz^TviaQcLi ' TOi 6e ©"(ciat aicrcrovcri. 

'Eur., Hippolytus, 612: 17 yXoicra-' ofj.u)fj.ox v 5e (f>pr}v ovajfAOTo?, the famous line which Aristophanes made fun of in 
Thesmophnriazusce^ 275, 

3 Fronton du Due notes that Basil has taken this allusion to Plato from Plutarch's tract, Hoi» to distingtiish between 
Flatterer and Friend, p. 50: (o? yfto o Wkartav t/jr/crti/ ea-xari?- aSi^ciageicat. hoK^lv SiKaiou /u,rj ovTa. * Plut., Pericles. 

5 Plut., Z>^ Ira Cokibenda, where the story is told of a brother. The aggressor says airo\oifir)v ei /u.jj <re nijuoprjcraiixr]!/. 
The rejo;nder is e-yo* 6e o-oAo U171/ el ixr) (n naia-atixL. 

« TTo.et in Greek will of course stand for •' made it," like our ** koc fecit,*' or " did it." Du Due gives authority for the 
use of the Imp. from Politiun. 

' rot? r)fjieTspoL<;. * cf. Plutarch, Alex, and Arrian. II. xii. 

^Clinias was a contemporary of Plato (Dioo^. Laert. ix. 40). 

10 St. Basil can hardly imagine that Clinias lived after Christ; yet Old Testament prohibitions are against false swearing 
only. Possibly the third commandment and such a passage as Lev. xix. 12, may have been in his mind. If Clinias had lived 
some half a millennium later there seems no reason why he should not have saved himself tliree talents by using the words of 
the Apostle in 3 Cor. xi. 31. 



Ixviii BASIL. 

shameful for us in the case of food to reject the injurious, and at the same time, in the 
case of lessons, to take no account of what keeps the soul alive, but, like mountaiii 
streams, to sweep in everything that happens to be in our w^ay. The sailor does not trust 
himself to the mercy of the w^inds, but steers his boat to the port; the archer aims at his 
mark ; the smith and the carpenter keep the end of the crafts in view. What sense is 
there 'in our shewing ourselves inferior to these craftsmen, though we are quite able to 
understand our owii* affairs? In mere handicrafts is there some object and end in labour, 
and is there no aim in the life of man, to which any one ought to look who means to 
live a life better than the brutes'? Were no intelligence to be sitting at the tiller of 
our souls, we should be dashed up and down in the voyage of life like boats that have 
no ballast. It is just as with competitions in athletics, or, if you like, in music. In 
competitions mere crowns are offered for prizes, there is always training, and no one in 
training for wrestling or the pancration ^ practises the harp or flute. Certainly not Poly- 
dainas,'^who before his contests at the Olympic games used to make chariots at full speed 
stand still, and so kept up his strength.^ Milo, too, could not be pushed oft^ his greased 
shield, but, pushed as he was, held on as tightly as statues fastened by lead.^ In one 
word, training was the preparation for these feats. Suppose they had neglected the dust and 
the gymnasia, and had given their minds to the strains of Marsyas or Olympus, the Phry- 
gians,* they would never have won crowns or glory, nor escaped ridicule for their bodily 
incapacity. On the other hand Timotheus did not neglect harmony and spend his time in 
the wrestling schools. Had he done so it would never have been his lot to surpass all the 
world in music, and to have attained such extraordinary skill in his art as to be able to 
rouse the soul by his sustained and serious melody, and then again relieve and sooth it 
by his softer strains at his good pleasure. By this skill, when once he sang in 
Phrygian strains to Alexander, he is said to have roused the king to arms in the 
middle of a banquet, and then by gentler music to have restored him to his boon com- 
panions.* So great is the importance, alike in music and in athletics, in view of the 
object to be attained, of training. 

To us are held out prizes whereof the mai-vellous number and splendour are beyond 
the power of words to tell. Will it be possible for those who are fast asleep, and live a 
life of indulgence, to seize thorn without an effort ?° If so, sloth would have been of great 
price, and Sardanapalus would have been esteemed especially happy, or even Mar- 
gites, if you like, v.dio is said by Homer to have neither ploughed nor dug, nor done any 
useful work, — if indeed Homer wrote this. Is there not rather truth in the saying of 
Pittacus,' who said that '* It is hard to be good? "... 

We must not be the slaves of our bodies, except where we are compelled. Our best 
provision must be for the soul. We ought by means of philosophy to release her from 
fellowship with all bodily appetites as we might from a dungeon, and at the same time 
make our bodies superior to our appetites. We should, for instance, supply our bellies 
with necessaries, not with dainties like men whose minds are set on cooks and table 
arrangers, and who search through every land and sea, like the tributaries of some stern 
despot, much to be pitied for their toil. Such men are really suffering pains as intolerable 
as the torments of hell, carding into a fire,^ fetching water in a sieve, pouring into a tub 
with holes in it, and getting nothing for their pains. To pay more than necessary attention 
to our hair and dress is, as Diogenes phrases it, the part either of the unfortunate or of the 
wicked. To be finely dressed, and to have the reputation of being so, is to my mind quite 
as disgraceful as to play the harlot or to plot against a neighbour's wedlock. What does 
it matter to a man with any sense, whether he wears a grand state robe, or a common cloak. 



1 i.e. wrestling and boxing together. 2 Paus. VI. v. cf. Pers., Sat. \. 4. s Paus. VI. xiv. 

< Marsyas, the unhappy rival of Apollo, was said to be a native of Celaenae in Phrygia. Olympus was a pupil of Marsvas 
{Schol. in Aristoph. Eg. 9). By Plutarch {Mus. xi.) he is called apxnyos rij? 'EAA.rji't/c^s xai Kak^<; fj-ova-t-Km. cf. Arist., 1 ol. 
VIII. V. 16. 

K cf. Cic, Legg. ii. 15, Plutarch, De Mus. There are two Timothei of musical fame, one anterior to Alexander. It will be 
remembered that in Drvden's Alexander's Feast "the king seized a flambeau with zeal to destroy," ajfter the •• Lydian 
measures " had *' soothed his soul to pleasures.'''' 

^ _ « Lit., who sleep with both ears, to seize with one hand (idiom for sleeping soundly, cf. Aul. Gell. ii. 23, who quotes 
€77 aft/fjOTepav KaOe^jSetv from Menander). 

7 Of Mitylene, cf. Arist., Pol. III. xiv. 9, and Diog. Laert. I. iv., who mentions Simonides' quotation of the maxim of 
the text XySpa ayaQou a\a9iui<; yeyecrOat xa-^ewbi', to IItTTa»cetoi'. 

8 ei? nufl ^atvorres, i.e. labouring in vain. cf. Plat., Legg. 7S0 c. The ordinary rendering to "flog fire," adopted by 
Erasmus {Adag. Chil. i., Centur. iv.), seems wrong, cf, Bekker on the phrase in Plato. 



PROLEGOMENA. Ixix 



so long as it serves to keep off heat and cold ? In other matters necessity is to be the rule, 
and the body is only to be so far regarded as is good for the soul." 

• • • •• •• • ••• •••• 

Similar precepts are urged, with further references and allusions to Pythagoras, the 
Corybantes, Solon, Diogenes, Pythius, the rich man who feasted Xerxes on his way to 
Greece, Pheidias, Bias, Polycletus, Archilochus, and Tithonus.* 

It is suggestive to compare the wealth of literary illustration in this little tract with 
the severe restrictions which Basil imposes on himself in his homilies for delivery in church, 
where nothing but Scripture is allowed to appear. In studying the sermons, it might be 
supposed that Basil read nothing but the Bible. In reading the treatise on heathen authors, 
but for an incidental allusion to David and Methuselah, it might be supposed that he spent 
all his spare time over his old school and college authors. 

(iii) The Panegyrical Homilies are five in number. 

Homily V. is on Julitta, a lady of C^esarea martyred in 306, and commemorated on 
July 30. (In the Basilian menology, July 31.) Her property being seized by an iniqui- 
tous magistrate, she was refused permission to proceed with a suit for restitution unless she 
abjured Christianity. On her refusal to do this she was arraigned and burned. She is 
described as having said that women no less than men were made after the image of God ; 
that women as well as men were made by their Creator capable of manly virtue ; that it 
took bone as well as flesh to make the woman, and that constancy, fortitude, and endurance 
are as womanly as they are manly. 

The homily, which recommends patience and cheerfulness in adversity, contains a pas- 
sage of great beauty upon prayer. '^ Ought we to pray without ceasing? Is it possible to 
obey such a command? These are questions which I see you are ready to ask. I w^ill 
endeavour, to the best of my ability, to defend the charge. Prayer is a petition for good 
addressed by the pious to God. But we do not rigidly confine our petition to words. Nor 
yet do we imagine that God requires to be reminded by speech. He knows our needs even 
though we ask Him not. What do I say then? I say that we must not think to make our 
prayer complete by syllables. The strength of prayer lies rather in the purpose of our 
soul and in deeds of virtue reaching every part and moment of our life. ' Whether ye 
eat,' it is said, ' or drink^ or whatever ye do, do all to the glory of God.' ^ As thou takest 
thy seat at table, pray. As thou liftest the loaf, oflfer thanks to the Giver. When thou 
sustainest thy bodily weakness with wine, remember Him Who supplies thee with this gift, 
to make thy heart glad and to comfort thy infirmity. Has thy need for taking food passed 
away? Let not the thought of thy Benefactor pass away too. As thou art putting on thy 
tunic, thank the Giver of it. As thou wrappest thy cloak about thee, feel yet greater love 
to God, Who alike in summer and in winter has given us coverings convenient for us, at 
once to preserve our life, and to cover what is unseemly. Is the day done? Give thanks 
to Him Who has given us the sun for our daily work, and has provided for us a fire to light 
up the night, and to serve the rest of the needs of life. Let night give the other occasions 
of prayer. When thou lookest up to heaven and gazest at the beauty of the stars, pray to 
the Lord of the visible world ; pray to God the Arch-artificer of the universe. Who in wisdom 
hath made them all. When thou seest all nature sunk in sleep, then again worship Him 
Who gives us even against our wills release from the continuous strain of toil, and by a 
s-hort refreshment restores us once again to the vigour of our strength. Let not night her- 
self be all, as it were, the special and peculiar property of sleep. Let not half thy life be 
useless through the senselessness of slumber. Divide the time of night between sleep and 
prayer. Nay, let thy slumbers be themselves experiences in piety; for it is only natural 
that our sleeping dreams should be for the most part echoes of the anxieties of the day. 
As have been our conduct and pursuits, so will inevitably be our dreams. Thus wilt thou 
pray without ceasing; if thou prayest not only in words, but unitest thyself to God through 
all the course of life and so thy life be made one ceaseless and uninterrupted prayer." 

Barlaam, the subject of Homily XVII.,' was martyred under Diocletian, either at 
Antioch or at Caesarea. The ingenuity of his tormentors conceived the idea of compel- 
ling him to fling the pinch of incense to the gods by putting it, while burning, into his 
hand, and forcing him to hold it over the altar. The fire fought with the right hand, and 
the fire proved the weaker. The fire burned through the hand, but the hand was firm. 
The martyr might say, " Thou hast holden me by my right hand. Thou shalt guide me 

1 Herod, vii. 21. 2iCor. x.31. 

» Supposed by some to be not Basil's, but Chrysostom's. cf. Ceillier, iv. p. 53. 



Ixx BASIL. 

with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory." ' The homily concludes with an 
apostrophe to the painters of such scenes. '' Up, I charge you, ye famous pamters of the 
niartyrs' struggles ! Adorn by your art the mutilated figure of this officer of our army ! I 
have made hut a sorry picture of the crowned hero. Use all your skill and all your 

colours in his honour." . . „ 

This was taken at the second Council of Nicosa as proof of an actual pamtmg. 
Homily XV'III. is on the martyr Gordius, who was a native of Caesarea, and was 
deo-raded from his rank of centurion when Licinius removed Christians from the army. 
Gordius retired into the wilderness, and led the life of an anchorite. One day there was a 
o-reat festival at Ccesarea in honour of Mars. There were to be races in the theatre, and 
Thither the whole population trooped. Not a Jew, not a heathen, was wanting. No small 
company of Christians had joined the crowd, men of careless life, sitting in the assembly 
of follv, and not shunning the counsel of the evil-doers, to see the speed of the horses and the 
skill of 'the charioteers. Masters had given their slaves a holiday. Even boys ran from 
their schools to the show. There was a multitude of common women of the low^er ranks. 
The stadium was packed, and every one was gazing intently on the races. Then that 
noble man, great of heart and great of courage, came down from the uplands into the 
theatre. He took no thought of the mob. He did not heed how many hostile hands he 
met. ... In a moment the whole theatre turned to stare at the extraordinary sight. 
The man looked wild and savage. From his long sojourn in the mountains his head w^as 
squalid, his beard long, his dress filthy. His body was like a skeleton. He carried a 
stick and a wallet. Yet there was a certain grace about him, shining from the unseen all 
around him. He was recognised. A great shout arose. Those who shared his faith 
clapped for joy, but the enemies of the truth urged the magistrate to put in force the 
penalty he had incurred, and condemned him beforehand to die. Then an universal 
shouting arose all round. Nobody looked at the horses — nobody at the charioteers. The 
exhibition of the chariots was mere idle noise. Not an eye but was wholly occupied with 
looking at Gordius, not an ear wanted to hear anything but his words. Then a confused 
murmur, running like a wind through all the theatre, sounded above the din of the course. 
Heralds were told to proclaim silence. The pipes were hushed, and all the band stopped 
in a moment. Gordius was being listened to ; Gordius was the eentre of all eyes, and in 
a moment he was dragged before the magistrate who presided over the games. With a 
mild and gentle voice the magistrate asked him his name, and whence he came. He told 
his country, his family, the rank he had held, the reason for his flight, and his return. 
" Here I am," he cried ; " ready to testify by deed to the contempt in which I hold your 
orders, and my faith in the God in whom I have trusted. For I have heard that you are 
inferior to few in cruelty. This is why I have chosen this time in order to carry out my 
wishes." With these words he kindled the wrath of the governor like a fire, and roused 
all his fury against himself. The order was given, '' Call the lictors ; where are the plates 
of lead? Where are the scourges.^ Let him be stretched upon a wheel; let him be 
wrenched upon the rack ; let the instruments of torture be brought in; make ready the 
beasts, the fire, the sword, the cross. What a good thing for the villain that he can die 
only once ! " ^ " Nay," replied Gordius, '' what a bad thing for me that I cannot die for 
Christ again and again ! " 

All the town crowded to the spot where the martrydom was to be consummated. 
Gordius uttered his last words. Death is the common lot of man. As we must all die, 
let us through death win life. Make the necessary voluntary. Exchange the earthly for 
the heavenly. He then crossed himself, he stepped forward for the fatal blow, without 
changing colour or losing his cheerful mien. It seemed as though he were not going to 
meet an executioner, but to yield himself into the hands of angels."* 

Homily XIX. is on the Forty Soldier Martyrs of Sebaste, who were ordered by the 
officers of Licinius, A.D. 320, to offer sacrifice to the heathen idols, and, at their refiisal, 
were plunged for a whole night into a frozen pond in the city, in sight of a hot bath on the 
brink. One man's faith and fortitude failed him. He rushed to the relief of the shore. 



1 Ps. Ixxiii. 23, 24. i Labbe vii. 272. cf. Chrys. //om. Ixxiii. 

8 dAAo. yap ola KepSaivei, <f>rf<Ttv, ana^ unvov arrodj'jjcrKwi'. Gamier seems to have completely missed the force of this 
exclamation in the explanation in a note, " Judex hoc dicere volebat, quern frticttim referel ex sua pertinacia, si semel mor- 
tuusfaerit; neque entm in hanc vitam rursus redibit, ejus ut gaiidiis perfruatur, tieque tamen tilla alia vita est.** 

* For the tortures and modes of execution enumerated, Du Due compares Aristoph., Pax. 452, Chrysost., De Luciano 
Marty re, and Nicephorus vi. 14. 



PROLEGOMENA. Ixxi 



plunged into the hot water, and died on the spot. One of the executioners had stood 
warming himself and watching the strange scene. He had seemed to see angels coming 
down from heaven and distributing gifts to all the band but one. When the sacred number 
of forty was for the moment broken the officer flung off his clothes, and sprang into the 
freezing pond with the cry, ** I am a Christian. '* Judas departed. Matthias took his 
place. 

• •••••••••«••••• 

What trouble wouldst thou not have taken to find one to pray for thee to the Lord ! 
Here are forty, praying with one voice. Where two or three are gathered together in the 
name of the Lord, there is He in the midst. Who doubts His presence in the midst of 
forty? The afflicted flees to the Forty; the joyous hurries to them; the former, that he 
may find relief from his troubles; the latter, that his blessings may be preserved. Here a 
pious woman is found beseeching for her children ; she begs for the return of her absent 
husband, or for his health if he be sick. Let your supplications be made with the martyrs. 
Let young men imitate their fellows. Let fathers pray to be fathers of like sons. Let 
mothers learn from a good mother. The mother of one of these saints saw the rest over- 
come by the cold, and her son, from his strength or his constancy, yet alive. The execu- 
tioners had left him, on the chance of his having changed his mind. She herself lifted 
him in her arms, and placed him on the car in which the rest were being drawn to the 
pyre, a veritable martyr's mother.-^ 

The last of the Panegyrical Homilies (XXHI.) is on Saint Mamas, commemorated on 
September 2 by the Greeks, and on August 17 by the Latins. He is said to have been a 
shepherd martyred at Caesarea in 274 in the persecution of Aurelian. Sozomen (v. 2) 
relates that when the young princes Julian and Gallus were at the castle of Macellum ^ 
they were engaged in building a church in the martyr's honour, and that Julian's share in 
the work never prospered.^ The homily narrates no details concerning the saint, and 
none seem to be known. It does contain a more direct mention of a practice of invoca- 
tion. There is a charge to all who have enjoyed the martyr in dreams to remember him ; to 
all who have met with him in the church, and have found him a helper in their prayers; 
to all those whom he has aided in their doings, when called on by name.^ The conclusion 
contains a summary of the Catholic doctrine concerning the Son. ''You have been told 
before, and now you are being told again, ' In the beginning was the Word,'^ to prevent 
your supposing that the Son was a being generated after the manner of men, ^ from His hav- 
ing come forth out of the non-existent. 'Word* is said to you, because of His impassi- 
bility. 'Was' is said because of His being beyond time. He says 'beginning' to 
conjoin the Begotten with His Father. You have seen how the obedient sheep hears 
a master's voice. ' In the beginning,' and ' was,' and ' Word.' Do not go on to say, 

1 The name of this younsfcst of the Forty is given as Mclito {D.C.B. s.v.). They are commemorated on March 9 in the 
Roman Kulendar of Gregory XI II. and the Menology of Basil ; on March 10 in the Roman Mart, of Bened. XIV.; on the nth 
in the old Roman Kal., and on March 16 in the Armenian. The legend of the discovery of some of their relics is given in 
Sozomen ix. 2. Others were ohtained for the church built in their honour at Annesi. {cf. p. xiv.) Two doctrinal points come 
out in this homilv, (a) The officer who took tlie place of Melito is said to have been baptized, not in \vater but in his own blood 
(§ 7). Here is martyrdom represented as the equivalent of baptism, (b) The stage arrived at in tlie progress of Ciiristian senti- 
ment towards the invocation of departed saints is indicated. Garnier, the Jesuit, writes in the margin of the passage quoted 
above, Invocantttr 7nartyres ; and Ceillier notes, // reconnait que les prieres des martyrs peuvent beaucotip nous aider aupres 
de Dieu. But in this particular passage the idea of " fleeing to the Forty " seems to be not fleeing to them to ask for their 
pravers, but fleeing to the shrine to pray in company with them. It is rather the fellowship than the intercession of the saints 
which is sought. /j.erd /jiapTupwc yiyvi(jQia ra airrifxaTa vixHow. Let your requests be made not to but wit/t the martyrs. In the 
Homily on St. Mamas, the next in order, the expressions are less equivocal. At the same time it must be remarked that with St. 
Basil the invocation and the intercession are /acaL In the De Sp. Scto. (chap, xxiii. p. 34) a significant contrast is drawn 
between the ubiquity of the Holy Ghost and the limited and local action of angels. And if of angels, so of saints. The saints 
w^ho have departed this life are thou^jlit of as accessible at the shrines where their relics rest, but, if we apply the analogy of 
the De Sp. Scto., not everywhere. It has been said that this is the period when requests for the prayers of the holy dend begin 
to appear, and Archbishop Ussher {Address to ayif.^a/VjChap. ix.) cites Gregory of Nazianzus for the' earliest instance within his 
knowledge of a plain invocation of the departed. But, as bishop Harold Browne points out, his invocation is rather rhetorical 
than supplicatory. Gregory •' had even a pious persuasion that they still continued as much as ever to aid with their prayers 
those for whom they had been wont to pray on earth ( Oz-a/. xxiv. p. 425). And he ventures to think, if it be not too bold to 
say so (t-i /nrj ToK'i.y]phv rovro elirelv), that the saints, being nearer to God and havin.r put off" the fetters of the flesh, have more 
avail with Him than when on earth (Orat. xix. p. 22S). In all these he does not appear to have gone further than some who 
preceded him, nor is there anything in such speculations beyond what might be consistent with the most Protestant abhorrence 
of saint worship and Mariolatry " (Bp. Harold Browne in Art. xxii.). Romish authorities in support of a yet earlier develop- 
ment, ])oint to Irenaeus {Adv. Hcer. v. 19), where in a highly rhetorical passage the Virgin M iry is said to have become the 
" advocate " of the V^irgin Eve, and to Origen, who *' invoked " his guardian angel {Horn. i. hi Ezek. 7). The later mediaeval 
invocation Bp. Jeremy Taylor (vol. vi. Eden's ed. p. 4S9) ingeniously shews to be of a piece rather with early heresy than with 
early Catholicity : " It pretends to know their present state, which is hid from our eyes; and it proceeds upon the very reason 
upon which the Gnostics and Valentinians went; that is, that it is fit to have mediators between God and us; that we may pre- 
sent our prayers to them, and they to God. To which add that the Church of Rome presenting candles and other donaries to the 
Virgin Mary as to the Queen of heaven, do that which the Collyridians did (Epiphan. Har. Ixxix. vol. i. p. 1057). The gift is 
only diff'ering, as candle and cake, gold and garments, this vow or that vow." 

2 cf. p. XV., n. 3 cf. Greg. Naz., Or. iv. § 25. 

* ocroL?, oi/o/xari^ kAjj^ccj, €jrt twj' tpywi/ jrap4<TTTq. On the reverence for reJ*cs cf. Letters cxcvii., cclii., and cclvii. 

* John i. I, * yivvrifxa audp^-mvov. 



Ixxii BASIL. 

' How was He ? ' and ' If He was, He was not begotten ; ' and ' If He was begotten, He 
was not.' It is not a sheep who says these things. The skin is a sheep's ; but the speaker 
within is a wolf. Let him be recognised as an enemy. ' My sheep hear my voice.' ^ 
You have heard the Son. Understand His likeness to His Father. I say likeness because 
of the weakness of the stronger bodies : In truth, and I am not afraid of approaching the 
truth, I am no ready deceiver: I say identity, always preserving the distinct existence of 
Son and Father. In the hypostasis of Son understand the Father's Form, that you may 
hold the exact doctrine of this Image, — that you may understand consistently with true 
relio-ion the words, 'I am in the Father and the Father in me.' ^ Understand not con- 
fusion of essences, but identity of characters." 

V. Letters. 

Under this head I will add nothing to the notes, however inadequate, appended to 
the text. 

VI. Liturgical. 

It is beyond the scope of the present work to discuss at length the history and relation 
of the extant Liturgies, which go by the name of St. Basil. St. Basil's precise share in 
their composition, as we possess them, must be conjectural. 

(i) The Liturgy, which St. Basil himself used and gave to his clergy and monks, 
preserved the traditional form in use in the archdiocese of Caesarea."* It is mentioned in 
the xxxii"^ canon of the council "in Trullo " of 692. This is no doubt the basis of the 
Greek Liturgy known as St. Basil's, and used in the East as well as the Liturgy of St. 
Chrysostom. The form in use is contained in Neale's Primitive Liturgies (1875). Dr. 
Swainson ( Greek Liturgies chiejly from Oriental Sources^ p. 75) printed an edition 
of it from the Barberini MS. in 1884. 

(ii) There is an Alexandrine Liturgy in Coptic, Arabic, and Greek form, called St. 
Basil's, and used on fast days by the Monophysites (Renaudot, Lit, Orient. Collection i. 
154). This differs entirely from the first named. 

(iii) Yet again there is a Syriac Liturgy called St. Basil's, translated by Masius, 
and given by Renaudot in his second volume.'* 

VII. Writings Spurious and Dubious. 

Under this head will be ranked, besides writings objections against which have been 
already noticed : 

I. Constitutiones monastlcas ('Acr/c^n/caMmrd^fic) , in number thirty-four. 
2 Poeuce in monachos delinquentes, and Poenae in Canonicas {liriTi/ica) • 

3. Libri duo de Baptismo. 

4. Sermones duo ascetici. 

5. Various Homilies: 

Adversus Calumniatores SS. Trinitatis, 

Altera de Sp. Scto., 

In Sanctam Christi Generationem, 

De Libero Arbitrio, 

In aliquot Scriptural locis, dicta in Lacizis. > 

III. De Jejunio. 

De Pa2nitentia. 

6. A book On True Virginity. 

7. A treatise On consolation in adversity. 

1 c/. John X. 16 ajohnxiv. 10. cf. De Sp. Scio. Us, P- ^S. 

' cf. De Sp. Scto. chap, xxvn, p. 41. 

^cf. Diet. Christ. Ant. s.v. " Liturgy," and C. Hole, Manual of the Book of Common Prayer, chap. ii. Fessler notes : 
«' Extat Litursria S. Bast/ii tarn fnsior qiiam hrevior gr. et lat. in Eiicholog. Gr. ed. J. Goar Venetiis 17:50 et alia gr. et lat. 
in E. lienaiidol Coll. Lit. Or. Paris, 1716, item alia latine tantiim conversa ex Coptico yacohitartim in eadetn collect, ac 
rursus aha latine tantum ex Syriaco conversa. . . . De formce varietate hcec optime monet Henandot: ' Litnrgia ilia, quod 
extra dubium est, usurpatnr in GrtEca ecclesia ab amiis plus mille duce7itis ; atque iiide origlnem habnerunt leves aliquot 
discrepanticz in precibus praparatoriis aut in aliis orationibus. ^ucedam exemplaria cceremoniales rubricas habent, quce in 
aliis non reperiuntur ; at alicujus momettti discrimen in illis partibus quee canoiiem sacres Actionis constitunnt, non 
reperitur. . _ . . Varietates in codicibus omnes prope ad ritus spectant, qui enucleatius in aliquibtis, in aliis brevtus 




PROLEGOMENA. Ixxlil 



8. A treatise De lande solitarias vitae. 

9. Admonitio ad lilium spiritualem (extant only in Latin). 

10. Sermones de moribus XXIV. {vOmolloyoi^ ^ a cento of extracts made by Simeon 
Metaphrastes. 

VIII. Writings Mentioned, but Lost. 

A book against the Manichceans (Augustine, c. Julian, i. 16-17). Tillemont (Art. 
cxlv. p. 303) mentions authors in which lost fragments of St. Basil are to be found, and 
(Art. cxxxvii. p. 290) refers to the lost Commentary on the Book of Job. 

IX. Additional Notes on some Points in St. Basil's Doctrinal and Eccle- 
siastical Position. 

It has been claimed with reason that the doctrinal standpoint 6f St. BaSil is identical 
with that of the English Church, with the one exception of the veneration of relics and the 
invocation of saints.^ 

In confirmation of this view, the following points may be noted : 

I. The Holy Eucharist. The remarkable passage on the spiritual manducation of the 
elements in Letter VIII. is commented on on p. 118. His custom as to frequent commun- 
ion and his opinion as to the reserved sacrament are remarked on on p. 179. 

A significant passage is to be found in the Moralia^ Rule XXL, that participation in 
the Body and Blood of Christ is necessary to eternal life. John vi. 54, is then quoted. 
That no benefit is derived by him who comes to communion without consideration of the 
method whereby participation of the Body and Blood of Christ is given ; and that he who 
receives unworthily is condemned. On this John vi. 54 and 62, and i Cor. xiii. 27, are 
quoted. By what method (Troi^ /.d/w) we must eat the Body and drink the Blood of the 
Lord, in remembrance of the Lord's obedience unto death, that they who live may no longer 
live unto themselves, but to Him who died and rose again for them. In answer, the 
quotations are Luke xxli. 29, i Cor. xi. 23, 2 Cor. v. 14, and i Cor. x. 16. 

3. Mariolatry. Even Letter CCCLX., which bears obvious marks of spuriousness, 
and of proceeding from a later age, does not go beyond p. recognition of the Blessed Virgin 
as Gford^oc, in which the Catholic Church is agreed, and a general invocation of apostles, 
prophets, and martyrs, the Virgin not being set above these. The argument of Letter 
CCLXL (p. 300) that " if the Godbearing flesh was not ordained to be assumed of the lump 
of Adam, what need was there of the Blessed Virgin?" seems quite inconsistent with 
the modern doctrine of the Immaculate Conception. Of any cultus of the Virgin, St. 
Basil's writings shew no trace. 

3. Relatio7is to the Roma7t ChurcJi, 

In order to say something under this head, Ceilller, the Benedictine, is driven to such 
straits as to quote the application of the term " Coryphaeus " to Damasusin Letter CCXXXIX. 
Certainly St. Basil saw no reason to congratulate the W^esterns on their '^ Coryphajus," so 
far as intelligent interest in the East was involved. Fialon ^ sees the position more 
clearly, so far as Basil is concerned, though he assumes the Councils to have given more 
authority to tlie patriarch of the ancient capital than was in fact conceded. '*kS/ Basile 7ie 
va pas^ comma la major ite du Concile de Coiistantlnople^ jusqu^a traiter V Occident 
comma etr anger; s'il ne pretend pas que Veinpire appartienne a V Orients parce que 
V Orient voit naitre le Soleil^ et que c^est en Orient que Dieu brilla dans une enveloppe 
charnelle^ ne voudrait il pas., dans Vordre religieux., V union independa?ites qui-, depuis 
Constantin., r attache., dans Vordre politique., ces deux parties du monde Romain? A 
ses yeux V Orient et V Occident nesont ils pas deux Jreres^ dont les droit sont egaux^ sans 
suprematie., sans ainesse ? " 

In truth Basil appealed to Damasus as Theodoret to Leo, and as Chrysostom to Inno- 
cent, not as vassal to liege lord, but as brother to brother. In Basil's case, even the broth- 
erhood was barely recognised, if recognised at all, by the western prelate. 

1 cf. Dr. Travers Smith, Si. Bast'l, p. 125. « Etude Hist. p. 133. 

8 HeVov yap e'crriv, a>? opto, vvv 17 Sucri?, 
Kal TOt' Aoyicr/xbi/, o)? eTraiVero? <r/c67rei, 
Aeiv yip (Tvva.KX.i<jQa.i i^At'o) to. TrpayjuaTa, 
Ei'TeO^ei' apY>}^' \a.[i.^a.vovT' oQev ©eo? 
*EAajai|/ev r\\i.iv aapKLKw 7rpo|3A.>j/aaTi. Greg. Naz., Cartn. 



Ixxiv BASIL. 



X. Editions and Manuscripts. 

Amoni^ the chief editions and MSS. the following may be mentioned : 

The Eclitio Frinceps of the complete extant works of Basil in the original Greek is 
that which Froben published for Janus Cornarius at Bale in 1551. But Froben had 
already published in 1532, under the editorship of Erasmus, an edition containing the De 
Spiritu Sancto, the Hcxacmeron^ i\\Q Homilies on the Psalms^ twenty-nine different Hom- 
ilies and some Letters. 

A Venetian edition, published by Fabius in 1535, comprised the Moralia^ as well as 
the dubious book on Virginity, three books against Eunomius, and the tract against the 
Sabellians, Arians, and Anomoeans. 

The Greek editions had been preceded by a Latin version at Rome, by Raphael Volater- 
ranus in 1^15, of which the autograph manuscript is in the British Museum, and by another 
at Faris in 1^25, and by a third Latin edition issued at Cologne in 1531. These were fol- 
lowed bv other editions printed at Paris, Antwerp, and Cologne. In 161S Fronton du Due, 
commonlv known as Ducosus, published, in conjunction with Frederic Morel, an edition in 
two folio volumes containing a Latin version as well as the Greek. The edition of the French 
Dominican Father, Francis Combefis, was published shortly after his death in 1679. The 
most important step in the direction of accuracy and completeness was taken by Julian 
Garnier, a Benedictine Father of the Congregation of St. Maur. He revised and corrected 
the Greek text of earlier editions on the authority of a number of manuscripts in Paris, 
Italy, and England, and issued the first of his three folio volumes at Paris, at the press of 
John Baptist Coignard, in 1721. The third volume did not appear till 1730, five years after 
Garnier's death. In the meanwhile the editorial work had been taken up by Prudent 
Maran, another Benedictine, to whom are due a careful and voluminous biographical 
notice, many notes, and a chronological arrangement of the Letters. This was reissued in 
three 4** volumes in Paris in 1889, and is the basis of the edition published, with 
additions, by the Abbe Jacques Paul Migne, in the Patrologia Grceca^ in 1857. 

An important edition of a separate work is the revised text, with notes and introduc- 
tion, of the De Spiritu Sancto^ by the Rev. C. F. H. Johnston, published at the Claren- 
don Press in 1892. 

German translations were published by Count Schweikhard at Ingolstadt in 1591 
(Ceillier VI. viii. 8), and by J. von Wendel at Vienna in 1776-78. There have also been 
issued Basilius des Grossen auserlesenes Homilien., ubersetzt tmd mil Ammer kungcn 
verseJicn von J. G. Krabinger^ Landshut, 1839, and Auserlesenc Schri/ten^ ubersetzt 
von Grone^ Kempten, 1875. 

Homilies and Orations were published in Italian in 1711 by Gio. Maria Lucchini. 
Omelie Scelte^ translated by A. M. Ricci, were published in Florence in 1732. 

Many important extracts are translated into French in the Histoire Generate des 
AuteUrs Sacres oi 'i\\& Benedictine Remy Ceillier (Paris, 1737). 

E. Fialon, in his Et. Hist. (1869) has translated the Hexaemeron ; and in 1889 the 
Panegyrique du Martyr Gordius was published in French by J. Genouille. 

. A complete account of the bibliography of St. Basil is given in the Notitia ex Biblio- 
tJieca Fabricii (Ed. Harles, tom. ix. 1804), in Migne's ed. vol. i.. Prolegomena p. ccxli. 

In 1 888 a translation of the De Spiritu Sancto^ by G. Lewis, was included in the 
Christian Classic Series. 

Of all the smaller works a great popularity, as far as popularity can be gauged by the 
number of editions and translations, has belonged to the Advice to the Young and the 
Homily on the Forty Martyrs. 

The MSS. collated by the Ben. Edd. for their edition of the De Spiritu Sancto are 
five entitled Regii^ and a sixth known as Colbertinus., now in the national library at Paris. 
The Ben. Regius Secundus (2293) is described by Omont {Inventaire Sommaire des 
MSS. Grecs) as of the Xth c, the Colbertinus (4529) and the Regius Tertius (2893) 
as of the Xlth c, and the Regius Primus (2286), Regius ^uartus (2896), and Regius 
^i^intus (3430) as of the XlVth c. 

For his edition, Mr. C. F. H. Johnston also collated or had collated 22,509 Add. 
MSS., Xth c, in the British Museum ; Codd. Misc. xxxvii., Xlth c, in the Bodleian Library 
at Oxford ; Cod. Theol. 142, Xllth c, in the Imperial Library at Vienna ; Cod. Theol. 18, 
XlVth c, also at Vienna ; Cod. xxiii., Xlth c, in the Library of the Holy Synod at Moscow ; 



PROLEGOMENA. Ixxv 



500 (Reg. 1824, 3) G, Xlth c, at Paris; Cod. Iviii., Xth c, at St. Mark's, Venice; Cod. 
ixvi., Xllth c, also at St. Mark's, Venice; Codd. Regin. Suaecor. 35, XlVth c, in the Vat- 
ican at Rome. 

For the Hexaemeron the Ben. Edd. used eight MSS. styled Regii^ and numbered 
respectively 1S24, 2286 (originally in the collection of Henry II. at Fontainebleau, the 
Reghis Primus of the enumeration for the De Spiritu Sancto^ but the Secundus for that of 
the Hexaemeron)^ 2287 (1°), 22S7 (2°), 2349, 2892, 2896 (the Regius ^uartus of the De 
Spirilu Sancto),^nd 2989; two MSS. entitled C^/<$^r//;/2/5", 3069 and 4721 ; two Coistiniani, 
229, IXth c, and 235; and a MS. in the Bodleian, "a doctissimo viro Joanne Wolf 
coUatus.'* 

The sources of the Ben. Ed. of the Letters were Coislinianus 237, Xlth c, a Codex 
Harlseanus of the Xth or Xlth c, and a Codex Medicagus, Codex Regius 2393, Codex 
Regius 2897, Codex Regius 2896, Codex Regius 2502, Codex Regius 1824, Codex Regius 
1906, and Codex Regius 1908. 



The following MSS. of St. Basil are in the library of the Bodleian at Oxford : 

Homiliae et Epistolae. Codex membranaceus, in 4to majori ff. 250, sec. xii. Epistola 
ad Optimum, episcopum, in septem ultiones. Cain. fol. iii. 

Epistola ad virginem lapsam, fol. 211b. 

EJLisdem Basilii epistola ad monachum lapsum, fol. 215b. 

Epistolae canonicae. Barocciani. xxvi. 285b {i.e. pt. i, p. 36). 

Codex membranaceus, in 4to minori, ff. 370, sec. xi. fol. 285b. 

Epist canon. Baroc. xxxvi. 121 {i.e. pt. i, p, i47)» 

Codex membranaceus, in 4to minori, ff. 12 et 161, sec. xii. exeuntis. 

Ejusdem epistolae canonicae tertiae prologus, fol. 125b. 

CLVIII. 202 {i.e. pt. I, p. 268). Codex chartaceus, in 4to majori, ff. 374, sec. xv. 

S. Basilii ad Amphilochium, Iconii episcopum, et alias epistolae quinque canonicae, 
fol. 202. 

CLXXXV. 129b {i.e. pt. i, p. 307). Membranaceus, in folio, ff. 83 et 312, sec. xi. 
exeuntis, bene exaratus et servatus. 

S. Basilii magni epistolae canonicae, cum scholius nonnullis, fol. 129b. 

Ejusdem epistolae septem aliae, fol. 141. 

Epist. Canon. Baroc. cxcvi. 184b {i.e. pt. i, p. 336). Membranaceus, in 4to majori, 
ff. 313, sec. xi. anno scilicet 1043 exaratus. 

S. Basilii expositio de jejunio quadragesimal!, f. 6b. 

CCV. 400b {i.e. pt. I, p. 361). Codex chartaceus, in folio, ff. 520, sec. xiv. mutilus 
et madore corruptus. 

Dionysii Alexandrini, Petri Alexandrini, Gregorii Thaumaturgi, Athanasii, Basilii, 
Gregorii Nysseni, Timothei Alexandrini, Theophili Alexandrini, Cyrilli Alexandrini, et 
Gennadii epistolse encyclicse ; interpretatione Balsamonis illustratae, fol. 37Sb. 

Epistolae canonicae. Laudiani. xxxix. 200 {i.e. pt. i, p. 519). Codex membrana- 
ceus in 4to maj. ff. 347, sec. forsan. xi. ineuntis, etc. 

S. Basilii C^esareensis octo, subnexis capitulis duobus ex opere de S. Spiritu, 
fol. 200. 

Seld. xlviii. 151 {i.e. pt. i, p. 611). Codex membranaceus, in 4to ff. 189, sec. xiii. 
nitide exaratus; quandam monasterii S. Trinitatis apud Chalcem insulam [ol. 3385]. 

S. Basilii ad Amphilochium, Diodorum et Gregorium canones, fol. 151. 

Misc. clxx. 181, 263, 284b {i.e. pt. i, p. 717). Codex membranaceus, in 4to majori, 
ff. 363, secc. si tabulam sec. xi. excipiamus, xiv. et xv. ; initio et fine mutilus. Rawl. 
Auct. G. 158. 

S. Basilii, archiep. Caesareensis, ad Amphilochium epistolae tres canonicae, fol. 181. 

S. Basilii epistolae duae, scilicet, ad chorepiscopos, ad episcopos sibi subjectos, cum 
excerptis duobus ex capp. xxvii. et xxix. ad Amphilochium de S. Spiritu, fol. 263. 

S. Basilii epistolae duae, ad Diodorum et ad Gregorium, fol. 284b. 

Epist. Canon, misc. ccvi. 171 {i.e. pt. i, p. 763). Codex membranaceus, in folio 
minori, ff. 243. sec. forsan xi. exeuntis ; bene exaratus et servatus. Meerm. Auct. T. 2. 6. 
S. Basilii, archiep. Caesareensis, ad Amphilochium ep. Icon, epistolse tres canonicae 
cum scholiis hie illic margini adpositis, fol. 171. 



Ixxvi BASIL. 

Epistolic cccxxxlv. Misc. xxxviii. i {i.e, pt. i, p. 643). Codex chartaceus, in folio, 
fi'. 196, sec. xvi. anno 1547 scriptus [ol. 3091]. Auct. E. 2. 10. 

S. Basilii epistolae,\it e numeris marginalibus apparet, cccxxxiv. fol. i. 

Ult. est ad cundem Eusebium, et exstat in ed. cit. torn. iii. p. 257. 

Epistola ccxlv. Baroc cxxi. {i.e. pt. i, p. 199]. Membranaceus, in 4to ff. 226, sec. 
xii. exeiintis, bene exaratus ; in calce mutilus. 

S. Basilii, archiepiscopi Cassareensis, epistolse ad diversos, numero ducent^ quadra- 
ginta quinque. 

Epist. clxxvii. Roc. xviii. 314 (/.^. pt. i, p. 471). Codex chartaceus, in folio, ff. 
475, hodie in duo volumina distinctus, anno 1349 nianu Constantini Sapientis binis 
coluninis scriptus; olim ecclesiae S. Trinitatis apud insulam Chalcem [ol. 264]. 

S. Basilii Caesareensis epistolae circiter centum septuaginta septem, fol. 314. 

Epistolae variae. Baroc. Ivi. 28b et passim {i.e, pt. i, p. 83). Codex bomby- 
cinus, ff. 175, sec. xiv. exeuntis ; initio mutilus, et madore corruptus. 

S. Basilii adversus Eunomium epistola, fol. 28b. 

Epist. xiii. ad diversos. Baroc. ccxxvili ii8b (/.^. pt. i, p. 393). Membranaceus, 
in folio, ff. 206, sec. forsan xii. ineuntis ; foliis aliquot chartaceis a manu recentiori hie 
illic suppletis. S. Basilii et LIbanii epistolag septem mutuae, f. 126. 

Ibid. epp. 341, 342, 337-340* 356. 

Epist. tres. Misc. clxxix. 423 {i.e. pt. i, p. 724). Codex chartaceus, in folio mar- 
jori, ff. 262, sec. xvii. ; olim peculium coll. soc. Jesu Clarom. Paris, postea Joh. Meerman. 
Auct. T. I. I. 

S. Basilii, archlep. Caesareensis, epistola ad Optimum episcopum in Illud, Trof 6 aixoKTzivaq 
Katv, p. 423. ^ 

Epistola ad Chilonem. Laud. xvii. 352 {i.e. pt. i, p. 500). Codex chartaceus, et 
laevigatus, in 4° ff. 358, sec. xv. [ol. 692]. 

S. Basilii Magni epistola ad Chilonem, fol. 352. 

Epist. ad Coloneos. Baroc. cxlii. 264b {i.e, pt i, p. 242). Codex chartaceus, in 
4° ff. 292, sec. xiv. ineuntis. 

S. Basilii Magni epistola ad Coloneos, fol. 264b. 

Ejus et Libanii epistola. Baroc. xix. 191 {i.e, pt. i, p. 27). Codex chartaceus in 
4° minori, ff. 200, sec. xv. manibus tamen diversis scriptus. 

S. Basilii et Libanii sophistae epistolse decem amoeboeae, fol. 191. 

Ejus et Libanii epistolse. Baroc. cxxxi. 296 {i.e.^pt. i, p. 211). Codex bombycinus, 
in 4° maj. ff. 4 et 536, sec. xiv. baud eadem manu scriptus ; madore aliquantum corruptus. 

S. Basilii et Libanii epistolae tres mutu^, f. 299b. 

Epistolae ad Libanium et Alodestum. Baroc. ccxvi. 301 {i.e, pt. i, p. 376). Codex, 
fragmentis constans pluribus, in 4° ff. 379 quorum 43 priora membranacea, caetera char- 
tacea sunt. 

S. Basilii epistola ad Libanium, fol. 301b. 

Ejusdem ad Modestum epistola, imperf. fol. 301b. 

Basilii et Libanii epistolae quinque mutuse, fol. 302. 

Ibid. epp. cccxxxv. seq., cccxlii., ccxli., ccclix. 

The following MSS. of St. Basil are in the British Museum i 

Harleian Collection : 

1801. Codex membranaceus (Newton's arms in spare leaf). Doctrina Beati Basilii. 
2580. Liber chartaceus. S. Basilii sermo de parentum honore, Latine redditus per 

Guarinum. 
2678. Codex membranaceus. S. Basilii de institutis juvenum liber ex versione et 

cum prasfatione Leonardi Aretini. 
5576. XlVth c. 40 Homilies. 
5639. XVth c. Homilies. 
5576. XlVth c. Hexaemeron. 
5622. XlVth c. Com. on Isaiah. 
5541. XVth c. Ad juvenes. 
5609. XVth c. '* 

5660. XVthc. '' 

5657. XlVthc. Extracts. 



PROLEGOMENA. 



Ixxvii 



56S9. 
5634. 
6827. 

3651- 
4987. 



Xllth c. 
XlVth c. 
XVIIth c. 
XVth c. 
XVth c. 



Burney Collection : 

70. XVth c. 
75. XVth c. 



De V. Virg. 

Ep. ad Greg. Frat, 

De Cons, in Adv. 
Admon. 



Ad juvenes. 
Epp. ad Liban. 



Additional : 
22509. 
34060. 
14066. 
34060. 
258S1. 
10014. 
10069. 

9347- 
18492. 

17474. 

23771. 



Arundel : 

535- 
532. 
528. 
520. 

583. 
181. 



Vellum curs. Xth c. De Sp. Scto. 

XVth c. The doubtful work De Sp. Scto. 

Xllth c. Homilies. 

XVth c. Against Drunkards. 

XVIth c. The Forty Martyrs. 

XVIIth c. Ad juvenes. 

Xllth c. Reg. fus. tract. 

XlVth c. Ascetic. 

XVIth c. De Frugalitate. 

XVth c. Epp. can. 

c. 1500. Sermones Tractatus. 

Autograph of Raph. Volterrano (translation) 



XlVth c. Excerp. ex adv. Eunom. v. 

Xth c. Hexaemeron. 

XVth c. Against Drunkards. 

XVth c. De tranqu. an. 

XlVth c. Epp. can. ad Amph, 

Xllth c. Adm. adFil.- / 



TOT AnOT BACIAEIOT HEPI TOT HNETMATOC BIBAION. 

THE BOOK OF SAINT BASIL ON THE SPIRIT. 

DE SPIRIT U SANCTO, 



PREFACE. 



The heresy of Arius lowered the dignity of the Holy Ghost as well as that of the Son. 
He taught that the Three Persons of the Holy Trinity are wholly unlike one another 
both in essence and in glory. " There Is a triad, not in equal glories ; " " one more glori- 
ous than the other in their glories to an infinite degree." So says the Thalia^ quoted 
in Ath. de Syn. § 15. But the Nicene definition, while it was precise in regard to the 
Son, left the doctrine of the Holy Ghost comparatively open, (jlLGTEvofiEv elq to 'Ayiov Uvevjua,) 
not from hesitation or doubt, but because this side of Arian speculation was not prominent. 
{Cf- Basil, Letters cxxv. and ccxxvi. and Dr. Swete in D.C.B. iii. 121.) It was the 
expulsion of Macedonius from the see of Constantinople in 360 which brought " Mace- 
donianism" to a head. He was put there by Arians as an Arian. Theodoret (Ecc. Hist, 
ii. 5) explains how disagreement arose. He was an upholder, if not the author, of the 
watchword dfj.oiovatov (Soc. ii. 45), but many supporters of the 6,uofom/,ov {e.g:^ Eustathius of 
Sebasteia) shrank from calling the Holy Ghost a creature. So the Pneumatomachi began 
to be clearly marked off. The various creeds of the Arians and semi-Arians did not 
directly attack the Godhead of the Holy Ghost, though they did not accept the doctrine of 
the essential unity of the Three Persons. ( Cf. Hahn, Bibliothek der Symbols, pp. 14S- 
174, quoted by Swete.) But their individual teaching went far beyond their confessions. 
The Catholic theologians were roused to the danger, and on the return of Athanaslus from 
his third exile, a council was held at Alexandria which resulted In the first formal ecclesi- 
astical condemnation of the depravers of the Holy Ghost, in the Tomus ad Anti- 
ochenos {qv. with the preface on p. 481 of Ath. In the edition of this series. Cf, also 
Ath. ad Scrap, i. 2, 10). In the next ten years the Pneumatomachi, Macedonians, or 
Marathonians, so called from Marathonlus, bishop of Nicomedia, whose support to the party 
was perhaps rather pecuniary than Intellectual (NIcephorus H.E. Ix. 47)? made head, and 
were largely identified with the Homoiousians. In 374 was published the Ancoratus of 
St. Epiphanius, bishop of Salamis in Cyprus, written In 373^ ^n<i containing two creeds 
{vide Heurtley de F. et Symb. pp. 14-18), the former of which Is nearly identical with the 

Confession of Constantinople. It expresses belief in to Uveviia to "Ayiop, Kvptov, kqI ZiooTroibv, to Ik 
Toi) Ilarpbg EKfropevdjjLevov, to cvv YlaTpl koX Tiw cv/jLTrpoaKWoi/nEvov Kal ovvSo^ai^ojUEVov, to ?M?i'f)aav did tcjv irpocprjTCJV. 
It Is in this same year, 374, that Amphilochlus, the first cousin of Gregory of Nazianzus 
and friend and spiritual son of Basil, paid the first of his annual autumn visits to CcEsarea 
(Bishop Lightfoot, D.C.B. i. 105) and there urged St. Basil to clear up all doubt as to 
the true doctrine of the Holy Spirit by writing a treatise on the subject. St. Basil com- 
plied, and, on the completion of the work, had it engrossed on parchment (Letter ccxxxl.) 
and sent it to Amphilochlus, to whom he dedicated it. 



BASIL 



CHAPTER I. 

Prefatory remarks on the need of exact in- 
vest ii^^ation of the fnost minute portions of 
theology. 

I. Your desire for information, iny right 
well-beloved and most deeply respected 
brother Ainphilochius, I highly commend, 
and not less your industrious energy. I have 
been exceedingly delighted at the care and 
watchfulness shewn in the expression of your 
opinion that of all the terms concerning God 
ill every mode of speech, not one ought to 
be left without exact investigation. You 
have turned to good account your reading of 
the exhortation of the Lord, '* Every one that 
asketh receiveth, and he that seeketh find- 
eth," ' and by your diligence in asking might, 
I ween, stir even the most reluctant to give 
you a share of what they possess. And 
this in you yet further moves my admiration, 
that you do not, according to the manners of 
the most part of the men of our time, pro- 
pose your questions by v^ay of mere test, but 
with the honest desire to arrive at the actual 
trutii. There is no lack 'in these days of 
captious listeners and questioners ; but to 
find a character desirous of information, and 
seeking the truth as a remedy for ignorance, 
is very difficult. Just as in the hunter's 
snare, or in the soldier's ambush, the trick 
is generally ingeniously concealed, so it is 
with the inquiries of the majority of the 
questioners who advance arguments, not so 
much with the view of getting any good out 
of them, as in order that, in the ev^ent of 
their failing to elicit answers which chime 
in with their own desires, they may seem to 
have fair ground for controversy. 

2. If " To the fool on his asking for 
wisdom, wisdom shall be reckoned," '^ at 
how high a price shall we value "the wise 
hearer" who is quoted by the Prophet in 
the same verse with '' the admirable coun- 
sellor "? ^ It is right, I ween, to hold him 
worthy of all approbation, and to urge him 
on to further progress, sharing his enthusi- 
asm, and in all things toiling at his side as 
he presses onwards to perfection. To count 
the terms used in theology as of primary im- 
portance, and to endeavour to trace out the 
hidden meaning in every phrase and in every 
syllable, is a characteristic wanting in those 
who are idle in the pursuit of true religion, 
but distinguishing all who get knowledge of 
" the mark " "of our calling ; " " for what is 
set before us is, so far as is possible with 



1 T^uke xi. lo. 

2 Pios-. xvii. 2S, Ixx. 



8 Is, iii. 3, Ixx. 
* Phil. iii. 14. 



human nature, to be made like unto God. 
Now without knowledge there can be no 
making like ; and knowledge is not got with- 
out lessons. The beginning of teaching is 
speech, and syllables and words are parts of 
speech. It follows then that to investigate 
syllables is not to shoot wide of the miirk, 
nor, because the questions raised are what 
might seem to some insignificant, are they 
on that account to be held unworthy of heed. 
Truth is always a quarry hard to hunt, and 
therefore we must look everywhere for its 
tracks. The acquisition of true religion is 
just like that of crafts ; both grow bit by bit ; 
apprentices must despise nothing. If a man 
despise the first elements as small and in- 
significant, he will never reach the perfection 
of wisdom. 

Yea and Nay are but two syllables, 
yet there is often involved in these little 
words at once the best of all good things. 
Truth, and that beyond which wickedness 
cannot go, a Lie. But why mention Yea 
and Nay.^ Before now, a martyr bearing 
witness for Christ has been judged to have 
paid in full the claim of true religion by 
merely nodding his head.' If, then, this be 
so, what term in theology is so small but 
that the effect of its weight in the scales 
according as it be rightly or wrongly used 
is not great? Of the law we are told " not 
one jot nor one tittle shall pass away ; " ^ how 
then could it be safe for us to leave even the 
least unnoticed? The very points which you 
yourself have sought to have thoroughly 
sifted by us are at the same time both small 
and great. Their use is the matter of v. 
moment, and peradventure they are there- 
fore made of small account ; but, when we 
reckon the force of their meaning, they are 
great. They may be likened to the mustard 
plant which, though it be the least of shrub- 
seeds, yet when properly cultivated and the 
forces latent in its germs unfolded, rises to 
its own sufficient height. 

If any one laughs when he sees oiu* 
subtilty, to use the Psalmist's^ words, about 
syllables, let him know that he reaps laugh- 
ter's fruitless fruit ; and let us, neither giving 
in to men's reproaches, nor yet vanquished 



^ i.e., confessed or denied himself a Christian. The TJene- 
dictine Editors and their followers seetn to hnve missed the 
force of the oriijinal, both grammatically and historically, in 
referrini? it to the time when St Basil is writinij; tjfir) cKptSij 
does not mean " at the present day is judeed," but "ere now 
has been judt^ed." And in A.D. 374 there was no persecution 
of Christians such as seems to be referred to, although Valens 
tried to crush the Catholics. 

2 Matt. V. iS. 

3 Ps. cxix. 85, Ixx. " The lawless have described subtilties 
for me, but not according^ to thy law, O Lord;" forA.V. & 
R.V., '* The proud have digged pits for me which are not after 
thy law." The word a^oAecrx-a is used in a bad sense to mean 
garrulity; in a good sense, keenness, subtilty. 



ON THE SPIRIT. 



by their disparagement, continue our investi- 
gation. So far, indeed, am I from feeling 
ashamed of these things because they are 
small, that, even if I could attain to ever so 
minute a fraction of their dignity, I should 
both congratulate myself on having won 
high honour, and should tell my brother and 
fellow-investigator that no small gain had 
accrued to him therefrom. 

While, then, I am aw^are that the con- 
troversy contained in little w^ords is a very 
great one, in hope of the prize I do not 
shrink from toil, with the conviction that the 
discussion will both prove profitable to my- 
self, and that my hearers will be rewarded 
with no small benefit. Wherefore now with 
the help, if I may so say, of the Holy Spirit 
Himself, I will approach the exposition of 
the subject, and, if you will, that I may be 
put in the way of the discussion, I will for a 
moment revert to the origin of the question 
before us. 

3. Lately when praying with the people, 
and using the full doxology to God the 
Father in both forms, at one time " with the 
Son together with the Holy Ghost," and at 
another '' through the Son in the Holy 
Ghost," I was attacked by some of those 
present on the ground that I was introduc- 
ing novel and at the same time mutually con- 
tradictory terms. ^ 

You, however, chiefly with the view of 
benefiti'ng them, or, if they are wholly in- 
curable, for the security of such as may fall 
in with them, have expressed the opinion 
that some clear instruction ought to be pub- 
lished concerning tlie force underlying the 
syllables employed. I will therefore write 
as concisely as possible, in the endeavour to 
lay down some admitted principle for tne dis- 
cussion. 

CHAPTER II. 

The origin of the hei'etics^ close observation of 
syllables, 

4. The petty exactitude of these men 
about syllables and words is not, as might 
be supposed, simple and straightforward ; 
nor is the mischief to which it tends a small 
one. There is involved a deep and covert 
design against true religion. Their pertina- 
cious contention is to show that the mention 



1 It is impossible to convey in English the precise force of 
the prepo<;itions used. '* With " represents /oLtra, of which the 
original meaninjr is " amid; " *' tog^ether with," ct'i-, of which 
tlie original meaning is " at the same time as." The Latin of 
the Benedictine edition translates the first by '^ cum" and the 
second by " uva cum.'* " Throuffh " stands for 6ta, which, 
with the genitive, is used of the instrument; ** in'* for kv, 
*^ in," but also commonly used of the instrument or means. 
In the well known passage in i. Cor. viii. 6, A.V. renders 5t' 
qv ra nauTa by " through whom are all things; " R.V., by ** by 
whom." 



of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost is unlike, 
as though they will thence find it easy to 
demonstrate that there is a variation in 
nature. They have an old sophism, invented 
by Aetius, the champion of this heresy, in 
one of whose Letters there is a passage to the 
effect that things naturally unlike are ex- 
pressed in unlike terms, and, conversely, 
that things expressed in unlike terms are 
naturally unlike. In proof of this statement 
he drags in the words of the Apostle, " One 
God and Father of whom are all things, 
and one Lord Jesus Christ BY whom 
are all things." ^ ^' Whatever, then," he 
goes on, " is the relation of these terms to 
one another, such will be the relation of 
the natures indicated by them ; and as the 
term ' of whom ' is unlike the term ' by 
whom,' so is the Father unlike the Son." ^ On 
this heresy depends the idlesubtilty of these 
men about the phrases in question. They 
accordingly assign to God the Father, as 
though it were His distinctive portion an 1 
lot, the phrase *' of Whom;" to God the 
Son they confine the phrase '' by W^hom ; " 
to the Holy Sj^irit that of ''in Whom," and 
say that this use of the syllables is never in- 

1 I. Cor. viii. 6. 

2 The story as told by Theodoret (Ecc. Hist. li. 23) is as 
follows : •* Constantius, on his return from the we>t, passed 
some time at Constantinople" {i-e., in 360, when the 
synod at Constantinople was held, shortly after that of the 
Isaurian Seleucia, *' substance " and '* hypostasis " being de- 
clared inadmissible terms, and the Son prtmounced like the 
Father according to the Scriptures) . The Emperor was urged 
that " Eudoxius should be convicted of blasphemy and law- 
lessness. Constantius however . . . replied that a decision 
must first be come to on matters concerning the faith, and that 
afterwards the case of Eudoxius should be enquired into. 
Basilius (of Ancyra), relying on his former intimacy, ventured 
boldly to object to the Emperor that he was attacking the 
apostolic decrees; but Constantius took this ill, and told 
Basilius to hold his tongue, for to you, said he, the disturb- 
ance of the cnnrches is due. When Basilius was silenced, 
Eustathius (of Sebasteia) intervened and said, Since, sir, you 
wish a decision to be come to on what concerns the faith, con- 
sider the blasi)hemies uttered against the Only Begotten by 
Eudoxius; and, as he spoke, he produced the exposition of 
faith, wherein, besides many other impieties, were found the 
following expressions: Things that are spoken of in unlike 
terms are unlike in substance; there is one God the Father 
of Whom are all things, and one Lord Jesus Christ I^y 
Whom are all things. Now the term *of Whom' is unlike 
the term 'by Whom;' so the Son is unlike G("d the Father. 
Constantius ordered this expoi-iiion of the faith to be rt;id, 
and was displeased with the blasphemy which' it involved. 
He therefore asked Eudoxius if he had drawn it up. Eu- 
doxius instantly repudiatt-d the authorship, and said that it 
was written by Aetius. Now Attius ... at the present 
time was associated with Eunomius and Eudoxius, and, as 
he found Eudoxius to be, like himself, a sybarite in luxiny 
as well as a heretic in faith, he chose Antioch as the most 
congenial place of abode, and both he and Eunomius -were 
fast fixtures at the couches of Eudoxius. . . . The Em- 
peror had been told all this, and now ordered Aetius to be 
brought before him. On his appearance, Constantius shewed 
him the document in question, and proceeded to enquire if he 
was the author of its language. Aetius, totally ignorant of 
what had taken place, and unaware of the drift of the enquiry, 
expected that he should win praise by confession, and owned 
that he was the author of the phrases in question. Then the 
Emperor perceived the greatness of his iniquity, and forthwith 
condemned him to exile and to be deported to a place in 
Phrygia." St. Basil accompanied Eustathius and his name- 
sake to Constantinople on this occasion, being then only in 
deacon's orders. (Philost. iv. 12.) Basil of Ancyra and Eus- 
tathius in their turn suffered banishment. Basil, the deacon, 
returned to the Cappadocian Caesarea. 



BASIL 



terchangcd, in order that, as I have already 
said, the variation of hmguage may indicate 
the variation of nature.' Verily it is suffi- 
ciently obvious that in their quibbling about 
the words they are endeavouring to maintain 
the force of their impious argument. 

By the term *' of whom " they wish to in- 
dicate the Creator; by the term '-'- through 
whom," the subordinate agent ^ or instru- 
ment;^ by the term ^'' in whom," or " //^ 
which," they mean to shew the time or place. 
The object of all this is that the Creator of the 
universe " may be regarded as of no higher 
dignity than an instrument, and that the Holy 
vSpirit may appear to be adding to existing 
things nothing more than the contribution 
derived from place or time. 

CHAPTER HI. 

5. The systematic discussion of syllables is de- 
rived from heathen philosophy. 

They have, however, been led into this 
error by their close study of heathen writers, 
who have respectively applied the terms " of 
whom" and ''''through whom" to things 
which are by nature distinct. These writers 
suppose that by the term " ^ whom " or 
"(?/" which " the matter is indicated, while 
the term ''''through whom" or ''''through 
which " ^ represents the instrument, or, gen- 
erally speaking, subordinate agency.^ Or 
rather — for there seems no reason why we 



"^cf. the form of the Arian Creed as given by P'unnmius in 
his 'ATToAoya ( Migne, xxx. 840. "We lielieve in one God, 
P'ather Ahnighty, of whom are all things; and in one only 
begotten Son of God, God the word, our Lord Jesus Christ, 
through whom are all things; and in one Holy Ghost, the 
Comforter, in whom distribution of all grnce in proportion as 
may be most expedient is made to each of the Saints." 

2cyf;, Eunomius, Liber. Apol. § 27, where of the Son he says 

VTTOUPYO?. 

3 On the wovd opyavov, a tool, as used of the Word of God, 
cf. Nestorius in Marius Merc. Migne, p. 761 & Cyr. Alex. Ep. 
I. Migne, x. 37, '•The creature did not give birth to the 
uncreated, but ijave birth to man, organ of Godhead." cf. 
Thomasius, Christ. Dog. i. 336. 

Mr. Johnston quotes Philo (de Cher. § 35; i. 162, n.") as 
speaking of o(i-^a.vov 6e \6yov ©eoG 61' o5 KaTt-<rKeua<r0Tj {jsc. 6 
»c6cr/u,o?). 

4 Here of course the Son is meant. 

5 The ambiiTuitv of gender in e^ ov and St' ov can only be 
expressed by giving the alternatives in English. 

•> There are four causes or varieties of cause : 

1. The essence or quiddity (Form) : to ri y\v elvai. 

2. The necessitating conditions (Matter) : to -riviov ovnav aw- 

ayK-q tout' eiuaL. 

3. The proximate mover or stimulator of change (EiBcient) : 

rj Ti npioTov kK.ivy]<j<=. 

4. That for tlie sake of which (Final Cause or End) : to tiVos 

ei-e/ca, Grote's Aristotle, i. 354. 
The four Aristotelian causes are thus : i. Formal. 2. Mate- 
rial. 3. Efficient. 4. Final, rf. Anst. Analyt. Post. II, xi., 
Metaph. I. iii., and Phvs. II. iii. The six causes of Basil may 
be referred to the four of Aristotle as follows : 

Aristotle, Basil. 

1. TO Ti Jiv flvai. Ka6* o : i.e., the form or idea 

according to which a thing 
is made. 

2. TO ef ov yivtTai Ti. e| 00 : i.e.^ the matter out of 

■which it is made. 

!v^»' ov : i.e., the agent, using 
means. 
61' OV : i.e., the means. 
4. TO ou ivena. St' 6 : i.e., the end. 

iv (^, or sine qud non, applying to all. 



should not take up their whole argument, and 
briefly expose at once its incompatibility with 
the truth and its inconsistency with their own 
teaching — the students of vain philosophy, 
while expounding the manifold nature of 
cause and distinguishing its peculiar signifi- 
cations, define some causes as principal,' 
some as cooperative or con-causal, while 
others are of the character of ''''sine qua 
non^^' or indispensable.^ 

For every one of these they have a distinct 
and peculiar use of terms, so that the maker 
is indicated in a different way from the in- 
strument. For the maker they think the 
proper expression is " ^X '^'hom," maintain- 
ing that the bench is produced "/5y" the 
carpenter ; and for the instrument '* through 
which," in that it is produced ••' through" or 
by means of adze and gimlet and the rest. 
Similarly they appropriate '*•<?/' which*' to 
the material, in that the thing made is " of" 
wood, while " according to which " shews 
the design, or pattern put before the crafts- 
man. For he either first makes a mental 
sketch, and so brings his fancy to bear upon 
what he is about, or else he looks at a pattern 
previously put before him, and arranges his 
work accordingly. The phrase " 07i accouiit 
(?/" which" they wish to be confined to the 
end or purpose, the bench, as they say, being 
produced for, or on account of, the use of 
man. '' In which" is supposed to indicate 
time and place. When was it produced.^ 
In this time. And where.? In this place. 
And though place and time contribute noth- 
ing to what is being produced, yet without 
these the production of anything is impossi- 
ble, for efficient agents must have both place 
and time. It is these careful distinctions, 
derived from unpractical philosophy and 
vain delusion,^ which our opponents have 
first studied and admired, and then trans- 
ferred to the simple and unsophisticated 
doctrine of the Spirit, to the belittling 
of God the Word, and the setting at naught 
of the Divine Spirit. Even the phrase 
set apart by non-Christian writers for the 
case of lifeless instruments '' or of manual 



1 Trpo/caTap/CTtKr). cf. Plut. 2, 1056. B.D. irpoKaTapKTLKr) ania i) 
eiju.aoju,eVi7. 

^cf. Clem. Alex. Strom, viii.g. " Of causes some are prin- 
cipal, some preservative, some cooperative, some indispen- 
sable; e.g., of education the principal cause is the father; the 
preservative, the schoolmaster; the cooperative, the disposition 
of the pupil; the indispensable, time." 

^iic T^s /LtaTaiOTrjTO^ xal Keyrji; aTrarrj?. 

cf. //.aracoTTj? fjiiTaioTriTtav, "vanity of vanities," Ecc. i. 2, 
Ixx. In Arist. Eth. i. 2, a desire is said to be /cevrj koX naTaia, 
which goes into infinity, — everything being desired for the 
sake of something else, — / e., k^v/j, void, like a desire for the 
moon, and /aarata, unpractical, like a desire for the empire of 
China. In the text jaaraioTr/s- seems to mean heathen philo- 
sophy, a vain delusion as distinguished from Christian phi- 
losophy. 

4 d\//u;!^a boyava. A slave, according to Aristotle, Eth. Nich. 
viii, 7, 6, is efx\jjv\ov bpyavov. 



ON THE SPIRIT. 



5 



service of the meanest kind, I mean the ex- 
pression " tJwough or by means of which," 
they do not slirink from transferring to the 
Lord of all, and Christians feel no shame in 
applying to the Creator of the universe lan- 
guage belonging to a hammer or a saw. 

CHAPTER IV. 

That iJiei'e is no distinction in the scriptural 
use of these syllables, 

6. We acknowledge that the w^ord of truth 
has in many places made use of these expres- 
sions ; yet we absolutely deny that the free- 
dom of the Spirit is in bondage to the petti- 
ness of Paganism. On the contrary, we 
maintain that Scripture varies its expressions 
as occasion requires, according to the cir- 
cumstances of the case. For instance, the 
phrase "' <?/* which" does not always and ab- 
solutely, as they suppose, indicate the mate- 
rial,' but it is more in accordance with the 
usage of Scripture to apply this term in the 
case of the Supreme Cause, as in the words 
^'One God, of whom are all things,"^ and 
again, "• All things of God." ^ The word of 
truth has, however, frequently used this term 
in the case of the material, as when it says 
" Thou shalt make an ark of incorruptible 
wood ; " ^ and ^'Thou shalt make the can- 
dlestick of pure gold ;" ^ and " The first man 
is of the earth, earthy;"® and "Thou art 
formed out of clay as I am."' But these 
men, to the end, as we have already re- 
marked, that they may establish the differ- 
ence of nature, have laid down the law that 
this phrase befits the Father alone. This 
distinction they have originally derived from 
heathen authorities, but here they have 
shewn no faithful accuracy of imitation. To 
the Son they have in conformity with the 
teaching of their masters given the title of 
instrument, and to the Spirit that of place, 
for they say iit the Spirit, and through the 
Son. But when they apply " of whom" to 
God they no longer follow heathen example. 



1 i;ATj=:Lat. wateriest y from the same root as mater, whence 
"Ru^, material and mailer. ('Ai], {iAF7, is the same word as 
sylva = wood. With viateries cf. Madeira, from the Portu- 
guese *' tnadera " = timber.) 

"The word vKy\ in Plato bears the same si^-nification as 
in ordinary speech: it means wood, timber, and sometimes 
generally material. The later philosophic application of the 
word to sitfnify the abstract conception of material substratum 
is expressed by Platf), so far as he has that concept at all, in 
other ways." Ed. Zeller. Plato and the older Academy, ii. 
296. Similarly Basil uses lAr?. As a technical philosophic 
term for abstract matter, it is first used by Aristotle. 

2 I Cor. viii. 6. 3 i Co,-, xi. 12. 

4 Ex. XXV. 10, Ixx. A.V. "shittim." R.V. «' acacia." St. 
Ambrose {de Spiritu Sancto, ii. 9) seems, sav the Benedictine 
Editors, to have here misunderstood St. Basil's ara^ument. St. 
Basil is accusin<^ the Pneumatomachi not of tracins; all thing^s 
to God as the material *' of which," but of unduly limiting the 
use of the term " of which " to the Father alone. 

"Ex. XXV. 31. <5 I Cor. XV. 47. ' Job xxxiii. 6, Ixx. 



but go over, as they say, to apostolic usage, 
as it is said, "But of him are ye in Christ 
Jesus," 1 and " All things of God." ' What, 
then, is the result of this systematic discus- 
sion } There is one nature of Cause ; another 
of Instrument ; another of Place. So the 
Son is by nature distinct from the Father, as 
the tool from the craftsman ; and the Spirit 
is distinct in so far as place or time is dis- 
tinguished froiTi the nature of tools or from 
that of them that handle them. 

CHAPTER V. 

That " through whom " is said also in the 
case of the Father^ and " of whom " in the 
case of the Son and of the Spirit. 

7. After thus describing the outcome of 
our adversaries' arguments, we shall now pro- 
ceed to shew, as we have proposed, that the 
Father does not first take " of whom " and 
then abandon '" through whom " to the Son ; 
and that there is no truth in these men's 
ruling that the Son refuses to admit the Holy 
Spirit to a share in " of whom " or in 
"through whom," according to the limita- 
tion of their new-fangled allotment of phrases. 
" There is one God and Father of whom 
are all things, and one Lord Jesus Christ 
through whom are all things." ^ 

Yes ; but these are the words of a writer 
not laying down a rule, but carefully dis- 
tino^uishing the hvpostases.^ 

The object of the apostle in thus wn*iting 
was not to introduce the diversity of nature, 
but to exhibit the notion of Father and of 
Son as unconfounded. That the phrases 
are not opposed to one another and do not, 
like squadrons in war marshalled one against 
another, bring the natures to which they are 
applied into mutual conflict, is perfectly 
plain from the passage in question. The 
blessed Paul brings both phrases to bear 
upon one and the same subject, in the words 
"of him and through him and to him are 
all things."^ That this plainly refers to the 
Lord will be admitted even by a reader pay- 
ins: but small attention to the meaning- of 
the w^ords. The apostle has just quoted 
from the prophecy of Isaiah, '•• Who hath 
known the mind of the Lord, or who hath 

1 I Cor. i. Tf). - I Cor. xi. 12. 3 i Cor. viii. 6. 

4 If Catholic Thcoloo^y does not owe to St. Basil the dis- 
tinction between the connotations of o'Jcriaand iJTrdcrTacri? which 
soon prevailed over the identification obtaininsx ^t the time ot' 
the Nicene Council, at all events his is the first and ^■.o^t 
famous assertion and defence of it. At Nicsea, in 325, to have 
spoken of St. Paul as '' distinguishing the hypostases " would 
have been held impious. Some forty-five years later St. Basil 
writes to his brother, Gregory of Nyssa (Ep. xxxviii.), in fear 
lest Gregory should fall into the error of failing to distinguish 
between hypostasis and ousia, between person and essence. 
cf. Theodo'ret Dial. i. 7, and my note on his Ecc. Hist. i. 3. 

5 Rom. xi. 36. 



BASIL 



been his counsellor/ and then goes on, '' For 
of him and from him and to him are all 
things." That the prophet is speaking 
about God the Word, the Maker of all 
creation, may be learnt from what immedi- 
ately precedes: "Who hath measured the 
waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted 
out heaven with the span, and compre- 
hejided the dust of the earth in a measure, 
and weighed the mountains in scales, and 
the hills in a balnnce? Who hath directed 
the Spirit of the Lord, or being his coun- 
sellor hath taught him?"^ Now the word 
" who" in this passage does not mean abso- 
lute impossibility, but rarity, as in the pas- 
sage •' Who will rise up for me against the 
evil doers? "^ and "What man is he that 
desireth life ? " * and " Who shall ascend into 
the hill of the Lord?"' So is it in the 
passage in question, " Who hath directed 
[Ixx., known] the Spirit of the Lord, or 
being his counsellor hath known him?" 
"For the Father loveththe Son and sheweth 
him all thino^s." ^ This is He who holds the 
earth, and hath grasped it with His hand, 
who brought all things to order and adorn- 
ment, w^ho poised ' the hills in their places, 
and measured the waters, and gave to all 
things in the universe their proper rank, 
who encompasseth the whole of heaven with 
but a small portion of His power, which, in 
a figure, the prophet calls a span. Well 
then did the apostle add " Of him and 
through him and to him are all things." ^ 
For of Him, to all things that are, comes the 
cause of their being, according to the will 
of God the Father. Through Him all things 
have their continuance^ and constitution,'^ 
for He created all things, and metes out to 
each severally what is necessary for its health 
and preservation. Wherefore to Him all 
things are turned, looking with irresistible 
longing and unspeakable affection to " the 
author" ^' and maintainer " of" their " life," 
as it is written " The eyes of all wait upon 
thee,"'^ and again, "These wait all upon 
thee," *^ and "Thou openest thine hand, 
and satisfiest the desire of every living 
thing." '' 

8. But if our adversaries oppose this our 
interpretation, what argument wnll save them 
from being caught in their own trap? 

For if they will not grant that the three 
expressions "' of him " and " through him " 
and "to him " are spoken of the Lord, thev 



> Rotn. xi. 34, and Is. xl. 13. » Rom. xi. 3S. 

2 Is. xl. 12, 13. 9 Stajaoi'i?. c/". Arist. de Sp. i. i. 



I's. xciv. 16. 
•• Ps. xxxiv, 12. 
f" Ps. xxiv. 3. 
8 John V. 20. 
7 voroppoTTia. cf. Plat. Phacd. 109, A. 



JO cf. Col. i. 16, 17, 

11 Acts iii. 15. 

12 Ps. cxlv. 15. 

13 Ps. civ. 27. 
J* Ps. cxlv. 16. 



cannot but be applied to God the Father. 
Then without question their rule will fall 
through, for we find not only " of whom," 
but also "through whom" applied to the 
Father. And if this latter phrase indicates 
nothing derogatory, why in the world should 
it be confined, as though conveying the sense 
of inferiority, to the Son ? . If it always and 
everywhere implies ministry, let them tell 
us to what superior the God of glory * and 
Father of the Christ is subordinate. 

They are thus overthrown by their own 
selves, while our position will be on both 
sides made sure. Suppose it proved that 
the passage refers to the Son, " of whom " 
will be found applicable to the Son. Sup- 
pose on the other hand it be insisted that the 
prophet's words relate to God, then it will 
be granted that "through whom" is prop- 
erly used of God, and both phrases have 
equal value, in that both are used with equal 
force of God. Under either alternative both 
terms, being employed of one and the same 
Person, will be shewn to be equivalent. 
But let us revert to our subject. 

9. In his Epistle to the Ephesians the 
apostle says, " But speaking the truth in 
love, may grow up into him in all things, 
which is the head, even Christ; from whom 
the whole body fitly joined together and 
compacted by that which every joint suppli- 
eth, according to the effectual working in 
the measure of every part, maketh increase 
of the body." ^ 

And again in the Epistle to the Colossi- 
ans, to them that have not the knowledge of 
the Only Begotten, there is mention of him 
that holdeth "the head," that is, Christ, 
" from which all the body by joints and bands 
having nourishment ministered increaseth 
with the increase of God." ^ And that 
Christ is the head of the Church we have 
learned in another passage, when the apos- 
tle says "gave him, to be the head over all 
things to the Church," * and " of his fulness 
have all we received." ^ And the Lord Him- 
self says "He shall take of mine, and shall 
shew it unto you." ® In a word, the diligent 
reader will perceive that " of whom " is 
used in diverse manners.' For instance, the 
Lord says, " I perceive that virtue is gone 
out of me." *^ Similarly we have frequently 
observed " of whom " used of the Spirit. 
"He that soweth to the spirit," it is said, 

J Ps. xxix. 3 ; Acts vii. 2. * Eph. i. 22. 

2 Eph. iv. 15, 16. f John i. 16. 

3 Col. ii. 19. 6 J John xvi. 15. 
■^ TToAvrpoTToi. cf. the cog-nate adverb in Heb. i. i. 

8 " e^ ifjLou.^^ The readino;^ in St. Luke (viii. 46) is aTr' eaoi*. 
In the parallel passagfe, Mark v. 30, the words are, *' Jesus 
knowinij;- in himself that virtue had gone out of him," e^ avTou 
which D. inserts in Luke viii. 45. 



ON THE SPIRIT. 



>» 1 



*' shall of the spirit reap life everlasting. 
John too writes, " Hereby we know that 
he abideth in us by (^«) the spirit which he 
hath given us."^ •>' That which is conceived 
in her," says the angel, "is of the Holy 
Ghost," ^ and the Lord says '' that which is 
born of the spirit is spirit." * Such then is 
the case so far. 

10. It must now be pointed out that the 
phrase "through whom" is admitted by 
Scripture in the case of the Father and of 
the Son and of the Holy Ghost alike. It 
would indeed be tedious to bring forward 
evidence of this in the case of the Son, not 
only because it is perfectly well known, but 
because this very point is made by our op- 
ponents. We now show that "through 
whom " is used also in the case of the 
Father. "God is faithful," it is said, "by 
whom (Si' ov) ye were called unto the fellow- 
ship of his Son," ^ and " Paul an apostle of 
Jesus Christ by (^id) the will of God ; " and 
again, " Wherefore thou art no more a ser- 
vant, but a son ; and if a son, then an heir 
through God." ^ And " like as Christ was 
raised up from the dead by (Sid) the glory of 
God the Father." ' Isaiah, moreover, says, 
" Woe unto them that make deep counsel 
and not through the Lord ; " ^ and many 
proofs of the use of this phrase in the case 
of the Spirit might be adduced. " God hath 
revealed him to us," it is said, "by (Sid) the 
spirit ; " ^ and in another place, " That good 
thing which was committed unto thee keep 
by (6id) the Holy Ghost ; " '° and again, 
" To one is given by (Scd) the spirit the word 
of wisdom." ^' 

11. In the same manner it may also be 
said of the word "in," that Scripture admits 
its use in the case of God the Father. In the 
Old Testament it is said through {ev) God we 
shall do valiantly,*^ and, " My praise shall be 
continually of (h) thee; " *^ and again, " In 
thy name will I rejoice." ** In Paul we read, 
"In God who created all things,"'* and, 
" Paul and Silvanus and Timotheus unto the 
church of the Thessalonians in God our 
Father; "^^ and " if now at length I might 
have a prosperous journey by {h) the will 
of God to come to you;"*' and, "Thou 

J Gal. vi. S. 3 Matt. i. 20. ^ j Cor. i. 9. 

2 1 John iii. 24. * John iii. 6. 

6 Gal. iv. 7. A.V. reads " an heir of God throug:h Christ; " 
so J<CD. R.V. with the copy used by Basil agrees with A.B. 

^Rom.vi. 4. It is pointed out by the Kev. C. F. H . John- 
ston in his edition of the Z>e Spiritu that among quotations 
from the New Testament on the point in question, St. Basil 
has omitted Heb. ii. 10, *' It became ♦lim for whom (Si' ov) are 
all things and throui^h whom CSt' oi) are all things," "where 
the Father is described as being the final Cause and eflScient 
Cause of all things." 

8 Is. xxix. 15, Ixx. ^" 2 Tim. i. 14. '^ ps. cvii. 13, 

9 I Cor. ii. 10. "iCor. xii.8. is Ps. Ixxi. 6. 
1* For •' shall they rejoice," Ps. Ixxxix. 16. 

isEph. iii. 9. 18 2 Thess. i. I. i^ Rom. 1, 10. 



makest thy boast of God." ' Instances are 
indeed too numerous to reckon ; but what 
we want is not so much to exhibit an abun- 
dance of evidence as to prove that the con- 
clusions of our opponents are unsound. I 
shall, therefore, omit any proof of this usage 
in the case of our Lord and of the Holy 
Ghost, in that it is notorious. But I cannot 
forbear to remark that "the wise hearer" 
will find sufficient proof of the proposition 
before him by following the method of con- 
traries. For if the difference of language in- 
dicates, as we are told, that the nature has 
been changed, then let identity of language 
compel our adversaries to confess with shame 
that the essence is unchanged. 

12. And it is not only in the case of the 
theology that the use of the terms varies, '^ 
but whenever one of the terms takes the 
meaning of the other we find them fre- 
quently transferred from the one subject to 
the other. As, for instance, Adam says, " I 
have gotten a man through God,"^ meaning 
to say the same di's from God ; and in another 
passage "Moses commanded . . . Israel 
through the word of the Lord,"'* and, again, 
" Is not the interpretation through God?" ^ 
Joseph, discoursing about dreams to the 
prisoners, instead of saying ''^ from God," 
says plainly ''''through God." Inversely 
Paul uses the term ''''from, whom'* instead 
of ''''through whom," when he says "made 
from a woman" (A.V., '''"of" instead of 
''''through a woman ").^ And this he has 
plainly distinguished in another passage, 
where he says that it is proper to a woman 
to be made of the man, and to a man to be 
made through the woman, in the words 
"For as the woman is from [A.V., of] the 
man, even so is the man also through [i\.V., 
by] the woman." ' Nevertheless in the 
passage in question the apostle, while illus- 
trating the variety of usage, at the same time 
corrects obiter the error of those who sup- 
posed that the body of the Lord was a 
spiritual body,^ and, to shev/ that the God- 
bearing ® flesh was formed out of the com- 

1 Rom. ii. 17. 

2 Accordins^: to patristic usaare the word *' theology " is con- 
cerned with all that relates to the divine and eternal nnturc of 
Christ, as distinguished from the oiKot'o/uia, which relates lo 
the incarnation, and consequent redemption of mankind, cf. 
Bishop I^ightfoot's Apostolic Fathers, Part II. Vol. ii. p. 75, 
and Newman's Avians, Chapter I. Section iii. 

3Gen.iv. i, Ixx. A.V. renders ^'^ she conceived and btire 
Cain and said," and here St. Basil has been accused of quoting 
from memory. But in the Greek of the Ixx. tlie subj»;ct to 
etTrep- is not expressed, and a possible construction of the 
sentence is to refer it to Adam. In his work adv. Eunom. li. 
20, St. Basil again refers the exclamation to Adam. 

4 Num. xxxvi. 5, Ixx. ^ Gal. iv. 4. 

" Gen. xl. 8, Ixx. ' i Cor. xi. 12. 

8 The allusion is to the Docetse. cf. Luke xxiv. 39. 

^ The note of the Benedictine Editors remarks that the 
French theoloirian Fronton du Due (Ducasus) accuses Thec-d- 
oret (on Cyril's Anath. vii.) of misquoting St. Basil :is 
writing here " God-bearing man " instead of " God-bearinir 



8 



BASIL 



mon lump ' of luiman nature, gave prece- 
dence to the more emphatic preposition. 

The phrase ** through a woman " would 
be likely to give rise to the suspicion of 
mere transit in the generation, while the 
phrase "of the woman" would satisfacto- 
rily indicate that the nature was shared by 
the mother and the ofispring. The apostle 
was in no wise contradicting himself, but he 
shewed that the words can without difficulty 
be interchanged. Since, therefore, the term 
*' from whom " is transferred to the identical 
subjects in the case of which '' through 
whom " is decided to be properly used, with 
what consistency can these phrases be in- 
variably distinguished one from the other, in 
order that fault may be falsely found with true 



religion ? 



CHAPTER VI. 



Issue joined with those who assert that the Son 
is not with the Father, but after the Father. 
Also concernijtg the equal glory, 

13. Our opponents, while they thus art- 
fully and perversely encounter our argument, 
cannot even have recourse to the plea of ig- 
norance. It is obvious that they are annoyed 
with us for completing the doxology to 
the Only Begotten together with the Father, 
and for not separating the Holy Spirit from 
the Son. On this account the}' style us in- 
novators, revolutionizers, phrase-coiners, and 
every other possible name of insult. I^ut 
so far am I from being irritated at their 
abuse, that, were it not for the fact that their 
loss causes me "heaviness and continual 
sorrow,"^ I could almost have said that I 
was grateful to them for the blasphemy, as 
though they were agents for providing me 
with blessing. For " blessed are ye," it is 
said, " when men shall revile you for my 
sake."^ The sfrounds of their indi^jnation 
are these : The Son, according to them, is 
not together with the Father, but after the 
Father. Hence it follows that glory should 
be ascribed to the Father " through him," 
but not"w//y^ him;" inasmuch as ^^ zvith 
him " expresses equality of dignity, while 
* ' through him " denotes subordination. They 
further assert that the Spirit is not to be 
ranked along with the Father and the Son, 
but under the Son and the Father; not co- 



flesh," a term of different siofnificatinn and less open as a 
Nestorian interpretation. " God-bearing," (?eo</>6po?, was an 
epithet applied 10 mere men, as, for instance, St. Ignatius. So 
Clement of Alexandria, 1. Strom, p. 31S, and Gregory of 
Nazianzus. Or. xxxvii. p. 609. St. Basil does use the expres- 
sion Jesus Christ avQpiMirov <d^6v in Hom. on Ps. xlix. 

1 <i> 'QOLiya. cf. Rom, ix. 21. 

2 r/". Rom. ix. 2. SMutt. v. 11. 



ordinated, but subordinated ; not connumer- 
ated, but subnumerated.' 

With technical terminology of this kind 
they pervert the simplicity and artlessness of 
the faith, and thus by their ingenuity, suffer- 
ing no one else to remain in ignorance, they 
cut off' from themselves the plea that igno- 
rance might demand. 

14. Let us first ask them this question : 
In what sense do they say that the Son is 
" after the Father ; " later in time, or in or- 
der, or in dignity.^ But in time no one is so 
devoid of sense as to assert that the Maker 
of the ages'^ holds a second place, when no 
interval intervenes in the natural conjunction 
of the Father with the Son.^ And indeed 
so far as our conception of human relations 
goes,* it is impossible to think of the Son as 
being later than the Father, not only from 
the fact that Father and Son are mutually 
conceived of in accordance with the relation- 
ship subsisting between them, but because 
posterioritv in time is predicated of subjects 
separated by a less interval from the present, 
and priority of subjects farther off'. For in- 
stance, what happened in Noah's time is 
prior to Avh at happened to the men of Sodom, 
inasmuch as Noah is more remote from our 
own day ; and, again, the events of the history 
of the men of Sodom are posterior, because 
they seem in a sense to approach nearer to 
our own day. But, in addition to its being 
a breach of true religion, is it not really the 
extremest folly to measure the existence of 
the life which transcends all time and all the 
ages by its distance from the present? Is it 
not as though God the Father could be com- 
pared with, and be made superior to, God the 
Son, who exists before the ages, precisely 
in the same way in which things liable to 
beginning and corruption are described as 
prior to one another? 

The superior remoteness of the Father is 
really inconceivable, in that thought and in- 
telligence are wholly impotent to go beyond 
the generation of the Lord ; and St. John 
has admirably confined the conception within 
circumscribed boundaries by two words, 
" In the beginning zvas the Word." For 
tliought cannot travel outside '''• was^^ nor 
imagination^ beyond '''' begi?t7ting.^* Let 



1 uTTOTacrcrw. cf. I Cor. XV. 27, and ?*;//. cf. chapter xvii. 
vTTOTerr'.yjj.ivo's is applied to the Son in the Macrosticli or 
I^engthy Creed, brought by Eudoxius of Germanicia t') 
Milan in 344. Vide Soc. ii. 19. 

2 TTOtr/Tr)? TUtV a'i(jJVU)V. 

3 Yet the great watchword of the Arians was v^u Trore ore 

OU.C l';i', 

* T-i ivvoia Tiov avBpMTrii'iav is here the reading of five IVfSS. 
The Benedictines prefer tmv di'6ipx.7ra»^, with the sense of "in 
human thought." 

^ t>ai'Tao-ia is the philosophic term for imagination or presen- 
tation, the mental faculty by which the object made apparent, 
(/xxtTaa/via, becomes apparent, ^atVerat. Aristotle, de An. III. 



ON THE SPIRIT. 



your thought travel ever so far backward, 
3'ou cannot get beyond the '' w<2J," and 
however you may strain and strive to see 
what is beyond the Son, you will find it im- 
possible to get further than the " beginning.''' 
True religion, therefore, thus teaches us to 
think of the Son together with the Father. 
15. If they really conceive of a kind of 
degradation of the Son in relation to the 
Father, as though He were in a lower place, 
so that the Father sits above, and the Son is 
thrust oir to the next seat below, let them 
confess what they mean. We shall have no 
more to say. A plain statement of the view 
will at once expose its absurdity. They who 
refuse to allow that the Father pervades all 
thinsfs do not so much as maintain the loc^i- 
cal sequence of thought in their argument. 
The fiith of the sound is that God fills all 
things ; * but they who dividj their up and 
down between the Fatlier and the Son do 
not remember even the word of the 
Prophet: "If I climb up into heaven thou 
art there ; if I go down to hell thou art 
there also." ^ Now, to omit all proof of the 
ignorance of those wiio predicate place of 
incorporeal things, what excuse can be 
found for their attack upon Scripture, 
shameless as their antagonism is, in the 
passages " Sit thou on iny right hand " ^ and 
'• Sat down on the right hand of the majesty 
of God"?"* The expression "right hand" 
does not, as they contend, indicate the lower 
place, but equality of relation ; it is not un- 
derstood physically, in which case there 
might be something sinister about God,^ but 
Scripture puts before us the magnificence of 
the dignity of the Son by the use of dignified 
language indicating the scat of honour. It 
is left then for our opponents to allege that 
tliis expression signifies inferiority of rank. 
Let them learn that " Christ is the power 
of God and wisdom of God," ^ and that 
"He Is the image of the invisible God"' 
and "brightness of his glory," ^ and that 
"Him hath God the Father"' sealed," ' 'by 
engraving Himself on Him."^ 



iii. 20, defines it as " a movement ofthc mind generated by sen- 
sation." Fancy, u'hich is derived from ^wio-tLcx ((faii^w, 
/BHA = shine) has acquired a slightly different ineanin>^ 
in some usages of modern speech. 

1 Eph. iv. 10. 2ps. cxxxix. 7, P.T?. 3 Ps. ex, i. 

4 I leb. i. 3, with the variation of " of God " for '* on hi^h." 

f* I know of no better way of conveying the sense of the 
original a/caio? than by thus introducing the Latin sinister, 
wliich has the double meaning of left and ill-omened. It is to 
the credit of the unsuperstitious character of English-speaking- 
people th.it while the Cireek cr/caio? and apLoreDo?, the Latin 
sinister and Iceviis, iheYrcnch ^nnc/ie, and the German link, all 
have the me;ining of awkward and unlucky as well as simply 
on the left hand, the English /^/if (though probably derived 
from lift = weak) has lost all connotation but the local one. 

<5 I Cor. i. 24. ^ Col, i. 15. « jieb. i. 3, ^Johnvi. 27, 

^o The more obvious interpretation of eo- tociyto-ei' in John vi. 

27, would be sealed with a mark of approval, as in the miracle 

just perlbrmed. cf. Ucngel, " sigillo id quod gcmiinum est 



Now are we to call these passages, and 
others like them, throughout the whole of 
Holy Scripture, proofs of humiliation, or 
rather public proclamations of the majesty 
of the Only Begotten, and of the equality 
of His glory with the Father.? We ask 
them, to listen to the Lord Himself, distinctly 
setting forth the equal dignity of His glory 
with the Father, in His words, "Pie that 
hath seen me hath seen the Father;"^ and 
again, " When the Son cometh in the glory 
of his Father;" ^ that they " should honoin* 
the Son even as they honour the Father;"^ 
and, " We beheld his glory, the glory as of 
the only begotten of the Father;"'* and 
"the only begotten God which is in the 
bosom of the Father." ^ Of all these pas- 
sages they take no account, and then assign 
to the Son the place set apart for His foes. 
A father's bosom is a fit and becoming seat 
for a son, but the place of the footstool is 
for them that have to be forced to fall.*^ 

We have only touched cursorily on these 
proofs, because our object is to pass on to 
other points. You at your leisure can put 
together the items of the evidence, and then 
contemplate the height of the glory and the 
preeminence of the power of the Only 
Begotten. However, to the well-disposed 
hearer, even these are not insignificant, un- 
less the terms " right hand" and " bosom" 
be accepted in a physical and derogatory 
sense, so as at once to circumscribe God in 
local limits, and invent form, mould, and 
bodily position, all of which are totally dis- 
tinct from the idea of the absolute, the in- 
iinite, and the incorporeal. There is more- 
over the fact that what is derogatory in the 
idea of it is the same in the case both of the 
Father and the Son; so that whoever repeats 
these arguments does not take away the 
dignity of the Son, but does incur the 
charge of blaspheming the Father; for what- 
ever audacity a man be guilty of against 
the Son he cannot but transfer to the Father. 
If he assigns to the Father the upper place 

covimendatur^ et omne quod rton genuinum est excluditur" 
But St. Basil explains ** sealed " by *' stamped with the image 
of His Person," an interpretation w^hich Alford rejects. St. 
Basil, at the end of Chapter xxvi. of this work, calls our Lord 
the \a.po.KT\]p /cal irrorvTro? o^pa.yi<;^ i.e., " express image and 
seal graven to the like " of the Father. St. Athanasius (Ep. i, 
ad Serap. xxiii.) writes, *' The seal has the form of Christ the 
sealer, and in this the sealed participate, being formed accord- 
ing to it.'* cf. Gal. iv. 19, and 2 Pet. i. 4. 

1 John xiv. 9. 2 Mark viii. 38. 3 John v. 23. * John i. 14. 

5 John i. iS. " Only begotten God" is here the reading of 
five MSS. of Basil. The words are wanting in one codex. In 
Chapter viii. of this work St, Basil distinctly quotes Scripture 
as calling the Son " only begotten God." (Chapter viii. 
Section 17.) But in Chapter xi. Section 27, where he has been 
allcired to quote John i. iS, ^vith the reading '• Only begotten 
Son" {e.g., Alford), the MS. authority for his text is in 
fivour of " Only begotten God." oc is the reading of ^^ 
B.C. fcofA. On the comparative weight of the textual and 
patristic evidence vide Bp. Westcott in loc. 

'^ cf, Ps, ex, 1. 



lO 



BASIL 



by way of precedence, and asserts that the 
only begotten Son sits below, he will find 
that to the creature of his imagination attach 
all the consequent conditions of body. And 
if these are the imaginations of drunken 
delusion and phrensied insanity, can it be 
consistent with true religion for men taught 
by the Lord himself that '' He that honour- 
eth not the Son honoureth not the Father " ^ 
to refuse to worship and glorify with the 
Father him who in nature, in glory, and in 
dignity is conjoined with him? What shall 
we say ? What just defence shall we have 
in the day of the awful universal judgment 
of all creation, if, when the Lord clearly 
announces that He will come '^ in the glory 
of his Father;"^ when Stephen beheld 
Jesus standing at the right hand of God ; ^ 
when Paul testified in the spirit concerning 
Chi ist '* that he is at the right hand of 
God ; " ^ when the Father says, ''Sit thou 
on my right hand ; " ^ when the Holy Spirit 
bears witness that he has sat down on '' the 
right hand of the majesty " ^ of God ; we 
attempt to degrade him who shares the 
honour and the throne, from his condition of 
equality, to a lower state?' Standing and 
sitting, I apprehend, indicate the fixity and 
entire stability of the nature, as Baruch, when 
he wishes to exhibit the immutability and 
immobility of the Divine mode of existence, 
says, " For thou sittest for ever and we 
perish utterly." " Moreover, the place on 
the right hand indicates in my judgment 
equality of honour. Rash, then, is the at- 
tempt to deprive the Son of participation in 
the doxology, as though worthy only to be 
ranked in a lower place of honour. 

CHAPTER VH. 

Against those who assert that it is not pr ope 7- 
for " with whom " to be said of the Son, and 
that the proper phrase is " through whom^ 

i6. But their contention is that to use 
the phrase ''with him " is altogether strange 
and unusual, vv^liiie " through him " is at 
once most familiar in Holy Scripture, and 
very common in the language of the brother- 
hood.^ W^hat is our answer to this? We 
say. Blessed are the ears that have not heard 
you and the hearts that have been kept from 
the wounds of your words. To you, on the 



M<^hn V. 23. 3 Acts vii. 55. ^ Ps. ex. i. 

2 Matt. xvi. 27. 4 Rom. viii. 34. « Heb. viii. i. 

7 Mr. Jolinston well points out that these five testimonies 
are not cited fortuitously, but •' in an order which carries the 
reader from the future second comino, through the present 
session at the right hand, back to the ascension in the past." 

8 Barucli iii. 3, Ixx. 

8 The word dSeAt&oTTj? is in the New Testament peculiar 
to S. Peter (i Peter ii. 17, and v. g) ; it occurs in the Epistle of 
St. Clement to the Corinthians, Cliap. ii. 



other hand, who are lovers of Christ,^ I say 
that the Church recognizes both uses, and 
deprecates neither as subversive of the other. 
For whenever we are contemphiting the 
majesty of the nature of the Only Begotten, 
and the excellence of His dignity, we bear 
witness that tlie glory is with the Father ; 
while on the other hand, whenever we be- 
think us of His bestowal^ on us of good 
gifts, and of our access^ to, and admission 
into, the household of God,* we confess that 
this grace is efiected for us through Him and 
4y ' Him. 

It follows that the one phrase " with 
whom " is the proper one to be used in the 
ascription of glory, while the other, 
'-''through whom," is specially appropriate 
in giving of thanks. It is also quite untrue 
to allege that the phrase ''''with whom" is 
unfamiliar in the usage of the devout. All 
those whose soundness of character leads 
them to hold the dignity of antiquity to be 
more honourable than mere new-fano;led 
novelty, and who have preserved the tradi- 
tion of their fathers ^ unadulterated, alike in 
town and in country, have employed this 
phrase. It is, on the contrary, they who are 
surfeited with the familiar and the customar\-, 
and arrogantly assail the old as stale, who wel- 
come innovation, just as in dress your lovers 
of display always prefer some utter novelty 
to what is generally worn. So you may 
even still see that the language of country 
folk preserves the ancient fiishion, while of 
these, our cunning experts ' in logomachy, 
the language bears the brand of the new 
philosophy. 

What our fathers said, the same say we, 
that the glory of the Father and of the Son 
is common; whei*efore we offer the doxology 
to the Father with the Son. But we do not 
rest only on the fact that such is the tradi- 
tion of the Fathers ; for they too followed 
the sense of Scripture, and started from the 
evidence which, a few sentences back, I 
deduced from Scripture and laid before you. 
For "the brightness" is always thought of 

1 $iAf)xpio-Tot. The word is not common, but occurs in 
inscriptions, c/". Anth. Pal. I. x. 13. 

bpOriv niariv e\ovaa (/)tAoYpicrToio fx.evoivr)<; . 

2 xopfiyi^o-. cj. the use of the cognate verb in 1 Pet. iv. 11. 
l^ tcr;^uo? ^9 x^priyii 6 ^eos. 

3 TrpocTo-yuyyii. cf. Eph. ii. 18. 

* o\.K^iui(jiv vrpbs Tov ©eoi'. cf. otKeioc ToO ©eoO in Eph. ii. 19. 

^ eV. 6 cf. Gal. i. 14. 

■^ The verb, evrpt'^o.aai, appears to be used by St. Basil, if he 
wrote eiTeTpi/xjuei/cov in the sense of to be ej'Tpt/Srj? or versed in 
a thing {cf. Soph. Ant. 177) — a sense not illustrated by 
classical usage. But the reading of the Moscow MS. (w) 
eVre^pa/ixju.evwi', "trained in,"** nurtured in," is per se mucli 
more probable. The idea of the country folk preserving the 
srood old traditions shews the change of circumstances in St. 
Basil's day from those of the 2d c, when the *' pagani " 'r 
villasiers were mostly still heathen, and the last to adopt the 
novelty of Christianity, cf. Pliny's Letter to Trajan (Ep. 96), 
^* neqiie civitates tajttnm si'd vi\:o<; efiam atqiie aj/ros super- 
stitionis istius contagio pervagata est.^^ 



ON THE SPIRIT. 



II 



with "the gloiy," * "the image" with the 
archetype,^ and the Son alwa}s and every- 
where together with the Father ; nor does 
even the close connexion of the names, much 
less the nature of the things, admit of separa- 
tion. 

CHAPTER VIII. 

In how many ways " through whom " is tised; 
and in what sense "with whom " is more 
suitable. Explanation of how the Son re- 
ceives a commandi7ientf and how He is sent. 

17. When, then, the apostle "thanks 
God through Jesus Christ," ^ and again says 
that "through Him" we have '"received 
grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith 
among all nations," ^ or " through Him have 
access unto this grace wherein we stand and 
rejoice," * he sets forth the boons conferred 
on us by the Son, at one time making the 
grace of the good gifts pass through from the 
Father to us, and at another bringing us to 
the Father through Himself. For by saying 
" through whom we have received grace and 
apostleship," ® he declares the supply of the 
good gifts to proceed from that source ; and 
again in saying "through whom we have 
had access," ' he sets forth our acceptance 
and being made " of the household of God" ** 
through Christ. Is then the confession of the 
grace wrought by Him to usward a detrac- 
tion from His glory? Is it not truer to say 
that the recital of His benefits is a proper 
argument for glorifying Him? It is on this 
account that we have not found Scripture 
describing the Lord to us by one name, nor 
even by such terms alone as are indicative of 
His godhead and majesty. At one time it 
uses terms descriptive of His nature, for it 
recognises the " name which is above every 
name,'*^ the name of Son,^^ and speaks of 
true Son," and only begotten God,'^ and 
Power of God, '^ and Wisdom, ^^ and Word.^^ 
Then agaiti, on account of the divers man- 
ners '^ wherein grace is given to us, which, 
because of the riches of Plis goodness, ' ^ accord- 
ing to his manifold ^*^ wisdom, he bestows on 

1 Heb. i. I. cf. Auir. Ep. ii. ad Scrap.: "The Father is 
Light, and the Son brig-htne^iS and true light." 

2 2 Cor. iv. 4. 5 Rom. V. 2, » ^r/". Eph. ii. ig. 

3 Rom. i. 8. 6 Rom. i. 5. 9 Phil. ii. 9. 
■* Rom. i. 5. 7 Rom. V, 2. 

i'^ Two MSS., those in the B. Museum and at Vienna, read 
here Irjcroi}. In Ep. 210. 4, St. Basil writes that the name above 
evei'y name is o.vj'o to Ka\e7<r9ai avTov Ylov toO ©eoD. 

11 cf. Matt. xiv. 33, and xxvii. 54. 

12 John i. iS. cf. note on p. 

'3 I Cor. i, 24, and possibly Rom. i. 16, if with D. we read 
gospel of Christ. 

i*"i Cor. i. 24. 

15^.^., John i. I. cf. Ps. cvii. 20; Wisdom ix. i, xviii. 15; 
Ecclesiasticus xliii. 20. 

^^ To TToAvTpoTroi'. cf. Heb. i. i. 

1^ Tov Tvkovrov Trjs dyaSorrjTo?. cf. Rom ii. 4, ToO TrAovTOi; t^s 

XprjO-TOTTJTO?. 

^3 Eph. iii. 10. 



them that need. Scripture designates Him by 
innumerable other titles, calling Him Shep- 
herd,' King,^Physician,^ Bridegroom," W^a\,^ 
Door,^ Fountain,^ Bread,'' Axe,^ and Rock."^ 
And these titles do not set forth His nature, 
but, as I have remarked, the variety of the 
effectual working which, out of His tender- 
heartedness to His own creation, according 
to the peculiar necessity of each. He bestows 
upon them that need. Them that have fled 
for refuge to His ruling care, and through 
patient endurance have mended their way- 
ward ways,*' He calls " sheep," and confesses 
Himself to be, to them that hear His voice 
and refuse to give heed to strange teaching, a 
"shepherd." For "my sheep," He saNS, 
" hear my voice." To them that have now 
reached a higher stage and stand in need of 
righteous royalty,'^ He is a King. 

And in that, through the straight way of 
His commandments. He leads men to g(jod 
actions, and again because He safely shuts 
in all who through faith in Him betake them- 
selves for shelter to the blessing of the higher 
wisdom,'^ He is a Door. 

So He says, " By me if any man enter in, 
... he shall go in and out and shall find past- 
ure." '* Again, because to the faithful He is 
a defence strong, unshaken, and harder to 
break than any bulwark. He is a Rock. 
Among these titles, it is when He is styled 
Door, or Way, that the phrase "through 
Him" is very appropriate and plain. As, 
however, God and Son, He is glorified with 
and together with '^ the Father, in that " at 
the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of 
things in heaven, and things in earth, and 
things under the earth ; and that every ton^iue 
should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to 



1 e.j/or.^ John X. 12. 
2^^., 'Matt. xxi. 5. 
3^.4^., Matt. ix. 12. 
4^.4r., Matt. ix. 15. 
'' '^•^'f Joh'i xiv. 6. 



^e.^., John X. 9. 
' cj. Rev. xxi. 6. 
8 e.^., John vi. 21. 
^cf. Matt. iii. 10. 
^0 e.£-., I Cor. X. 4. 



11 I translate here the reading of the Parisian Codex, called 
by the Benedictine Editors Regius Secundus, to eujaeTa,6oAoi' 
/caTtop^uxoTa?. The harder reading, to eu/x.tToifioToi', which may 
be rendered " have perfected their readiness to distribute," has 
tlie best manuscript authority, but it is barely intelligible; and 
the Benedictine Editors are quite right in calling attention to the 
fact that the point in question here is not the readiness of the 
flock to distribute {cf. i Tim. vi. 18), but their patient fol- 
lowing of their Master. The Benedictine Editors boldly pro- 
pose to introduce a word of no authority to d/ntTajSoAor, 
rendering qiii per patientiam animam immutabilem prce- 
buerunt. The readinir adopted above is supported by a pas- 
sage in .£/>. 244, where St. Basil is speaking of the waywardness 
of Eustathius, and seems to fit in best with the application 
of the passage to the words of our Lord, *' have fled for refuge 
to his ruling care," corresponding Avith '• the sheep follow 
him, for they know his voice" (St. John x. 4), and "have 
mended their wayward ways," with" a stranger will they not 
follow," V. 5. Mr, Johnston, in his valuable note, compares 
Oriiren's teaching on the Names of our Lord. 

12 So three MSS. Others repeat eTrto-Tacr'a, translated 
" ruling care " above, ei'vo/ixos is used by Plato for " lawful " 
and " law-abiding." (Legg. 921 C. and Rep. 424 E.) In i 
Cor. ix. 21, A. V. renders «' under the law." 

13 To T^s Yi-wcreo)? dya^oi' ; possibly " the good of knowledge 
of him." 

" John X. 9. IS cf. note on page 3, on \Ki76. and aiv. 



12 



BASIL 



the crlorv of God the Father." ' Wherefore 
we use both terms, expressing by the one 
His own proper dignity, and by the other 
His grace to iisward. 

i8. For *' through Him" comes every 
succour to our souls, and it is in accordance 
with each kind of care that an appropriate 
title has been devised. So when He pre- 
sents to Himself the blameless soul, not 
having spot or wrinkle,^ like a pure maiden, 
He is called Bridegroom, but whenever He 
receives one in sore plight from the devil's i 
evil strokes, healing it in the heavy infirmity : 
of its sins. He is named Physician. And I 
shall this His care for us degrade to mean- 
ness our thoughts of Him ? Or, on the con- | 
trarv, shall it smite us with amazement at ; 
once at the mighty power and love to man ^ 
of the Saviour, in that He both endured to 
sufter with us* in our infirmities, and was able 
to come down to our weakness? For not 
heaven and earth and the great seas, not 
the creatures that live in the water and on 
dry land, not plants, and stars, and air, and 
seasons, not the vast variety in the order of 
the universe,'' so well sets forth the excel- 
lency of His might as that God, being in- 
comprehensible, should have been able, im- 
passibly, through flesh, to have come into 
close conflict with death, to the end that by 
His own sufiering He might give us the boon 
of freedom from suflering.^ The apostle, it 
is true, says, '' In all these things we are more 
thun conquerors through him that loved 
us." ' But in a phrase of this kind there is 
no suggestion of any lowly and subordinate 
ministry,® but rather of the succour rendered 
*' in the power of his might." ® For He Him- 

' Phil. ii. lo, II. 2 Eph. v. 29. 

9 ^iKavOpixJTTLa occurs twice in the N.T. (Acts xxviii. 2, and 
Titus iii. 4) and is in the former passage rendered by A.V. 
" /cindtiess,^' in the latter by ♦' love to man." Tlie <l)i\avdp<ania 
of the Maltese barbarians corresponds with the lower classical 
sense of kindliness and courtesy. The love of God in Christ 
to man introduces practically a new connotation to the word 
and its cog^nates. 

* Or to sympathize with our infirmities. 

•■' ttokcAt) fita/coa-^rjcrt?. 6ta>c6crM-'?o"i9 was the technical term 
of the Pythagorean philosophy for the orderly arrangement of 
the universe {cf. Arist. Metaph. I. v. 2, " ^ oKy) 6taK:6(rjixv;ai? ") ; 
Pythagoras being credited with the first application of the 
word (coor^o? to the universe. (Plut. 2, SS6 c.) ^o junndus in 
I>atin. whence Augustine's oxymoron, *• O mande I'mjnintde ! " 
On the scriptural useof /c6o-|ao; and auov vide Archbp. Trench's 
Nevj Teatnment Synonyms, p. 204. 

« In Horn, on Ps. Ixv. Section 5, St. Basil describes the 
power of God the Word being most distinctly shewn in the 
a-conomy of the incarnation and His descent to the lowliness 
and the infirmity of the manhood. c/.Ath. on the Incarnation, 
sect. 54, •' Me was made man that we might be made God; 
and He manifested Himself by a body that we might receive 
the idea of the unseen Father; and He endured the insolence 
of men that we might inherit immortality. For while He 
Himself was in no way injured, being impassible and incor- 
ruptible and very Word and God, men who were suffering, 
and for whose sakes He endured all this, He maintained and 
preserved in His own impassibility." " Rom. viii. 37. 

* uTTTjpecrta. Lit. " under-rowing." The cognate vn-qperri^ 
is the word used in Acts xxvi. 16, in the words of the Saviour 
to St. Paul, '• to make thee a minister," and in 1 Cor. iv, i, " Let 
a man so account ol us as of the ministers of Christ." 

" Eph. vi. 10. 



self has bound the strong man and spoiled 
his goods,' that is, us men, whom our enemy 
had abused in every evil activity, and made 
'' vessels meet for the Master's use "^ us who 
have been perfected for every work through 
the making ready of that part of us which is 
in our own control.^ Thus we have had our 
approach to the Father through Him, being 
translated from "the powder of darkness to 
be partakers of the inheritance of the saints 
in light." ^ We must not, however, regard 
the ORConomy ^ through the Son as a compul- 
sory and subordinate ministration resulting 
from the low estate of a slave, but rather the 
volimtary solicitude working eflectually for 
His own creation in goodness and in pity, 
according to the will of God tlie Father. 
For we shall be consistent with true religion 
if in all that was and is from time to time 
perfected by Him, we both bear witness 
to the perfection of His power, and in no 
case put it asunder from the Father's will. 
For instance, whenever the Lord is called 
the Way, we are carried on to a higher 
meaning, and not to that which is derived 
from the vulgar sense of the word. We un- 
derstand by Way that advance ^ to perfec- 
tion which is made stage by stage, and in 
regular order, through the works of righteous- 
ness and " the illumination of knowledge ;" ' 
ever longing after what is before, and reach- 
inor forth unto those thins^s which remain,® 
until we shall have reached the blessed end^ 
the knowledge of God, which the Lord 
through Himself bestows on them that have 
trusted in Him. For our Lord is an essen- 
tially good Way, where erring and straying 
are unknown, to that which is essentially 
good, to the Father. For " no one," He 
says, " cometh to the Father but ["by," 
A. v.] through me." ^ Such is our way up 
to God " through the Son." 

19. It will follow that we should next in 
order point out the character of the pro- 
vision of blessings bestowed on us by the 

1 cf. Matt. xii. 29. 2 2 Tim. ii. 21. 

3 This passage is difficult to render alike from the variety 
of readings and the obscurity of each. I have endeavoured 
to represent the force of the Greek e/c tjj? cTotjuaata? toD 
e6' 17/uiv. understanding by " to 6<^' rifxiv," practically, " our 
free will." cf. the enumeration of what is e</)' iiijuv, within 
our own control, in the Enchiridion of Epictetus, Ch;ip. I. 
" Within our own control are impulse, desire, inclination." On 
Is, vi.S, " Here am I; send me," St, Basil writes, •' He did not 
add ' I will go; ' lor the acceptance of the message is within 
our control (e(^' r)'^^^)j but to be made capable of aoing is of 
Him that gives the grace, of the enabling- God." The Bene- 
dictine translation of the text is '^ per liberi arbitrii tiosfri 
prcEparationem.'''' But other readings are (i) t^s ec/)' ^]\x.lv, "the 
preparation which is in our o-wn control;" (ii) rr\<i e to i ju, a (rt' a? 
avToi), " His preparation; " and (iii) the Syriac represented by 
*' arbitrio suo." 

* Col. i. 12, 13. ^ cf. note on page 7. 

•5 TT-po/coTTTJ : cf. Luke ii. 52. where it is said that our Lord 
npoeKOTTTe, t'.e., *' continued to cut His way forward." 

^ I Cor, IV. 6, R.V. marg. 

f There seems to be here a recollection, though not a quo- 
tation, of Phil. iii. 13. 9 John xiv. 6. 



ON THE SPIRIT. 



13 



Father ''through him." Inasmuch as all 
created nature, both this visible world and 
all that is conceived of in the mind, can- 
not hold together without the care and 
providence of God, the Creator Word, the 
Onlv begotten God, ap^^ortioning His succour 
according to the measure of the needs of 
each, distributes mercies various and mani- 
fold on account of the manv kinds and char- 
acters of the recipients of His bounty, but 
appropriate to the necessities of individual 
requirements. Those that are confined in 
the darkness of ignorance He enlightens : 
for this reason He is true Li^ht.^ Portioning 
requital in accordance with the desert of 
deeds, He judges: for this reason He is 
righteous Judge. ^ * " For the Father judgeth 
no man, but hath committed all judgment 
to the Son." ^ Those that have lapsed from 
the lofty height of life into sin He raises from 
their fall : for this reason He is Resurrec- 
tion.* Effectually working by the touch of 
His power and the will of His goodness He 
does all things. He shepherds ; He en- 
lightens ; He nourishes ; He heals ; He guides ; 
He raises up; He calls into being things that 
were not ; He upholds what has been created. 
Thus the good things that come from God 
reach us " through the Son," who works in 
each case with greater speed than speech 
can utter. For not lightnings, not light's 
course in air, is so swift ; not eyes' sharp turn, 
not the movements of our very thought. Nay, 
by the divine energy is each one of these in 
speed further surpassed than is the slowest 
of all livinof creatures outdone in motion bv 
birds, or even winds, or the rush of the 
heavenly bodies ; or, not to mention these, 
by our very thought itself. For what extent 
of time is needed by Him who " upholds all 
things by the word of His power, " ^ and 
works not by bodily agency, nor requires 
the help of hands to form and fashion, but 
holds in obedient following and unforced 
consent the nature of all things that are.? 
So as Judith says, " Thou hast thought, and 
what things thou didst determine were ready 
at hand." ^ On the other hand, and lest we 
should ever be drawn away by the great- 
ness of the works wrought to imagine that 
the Lord is without beginning,' what saith 



^ John i. 9. 
2 2 Tim. iv. S. 



3 John V. 22. 

4 John xi. 25. 



5Heb. 1.3. 
"Judith ix. 5 and 6. 



7 ai/apvo?. This word is used in two senses hy tlie Fathers, 
(i) In the sense of atUo<; or eterniil, it is applied {a) to the 
Trinity in unity, e./^., .^««5A i)//5r. v.442 (Migne ^//i. iv. 783), 
attril")uted to Athanasius, ko'v'ov r\ ova, a' koiv'ov to avapxov. 
{b) To the Son. e.ff., Greg. Naz. Orat. xxix. 490, edi/ Tr)v airo 
Xfiovov I'ofj? anx^v Kc-i- r!.'/aoxo<; 6 virc, 0"/c ap;^rTat ydo ano xpoi'ou 
6 x^oviov SecTTroTrjc. (ii) In the sense of di/airto?, " causeless," 
^* oriffinis principio carens,^^ it is applied to the Father alone, 
and not to the Son. So Greg^ory of Nazianzus, in the oration 
quoted above, 6 .vios, eai^ ws o.^tiov t'ov ■no.Tipa. AaiJi^dvr}^, ovk 



the Self-Existent } ^ "I live through [by, 
A. v.] the Father, " ^ and the power of 
God ; " The Son hath power [can, A.V.] 
to do nothing of himself. " ^ And the 
self-complete Wisdom.? I received " a com- 
mandment what I should say and what I 
should speak." ■* Through all these words 
He is guiding us to the knowledge of the 
Father, and referring our wonder at all that 
is brought into existence to Him, to the 
end that "through Him" we may know the 
Father. For the Father is not regarded from 
the difference of the operations, by the exhibi- 
tion of a separate and peculiar energy ; for 
whatsoever things He sees the Father doing, 
"these also doeth the Son likewise;"* 
but He enjoys our wonder at all that comes 
to pass out of the glory which comes 
to Him from the Only Begotten, rejoicing 
in the Doer Himself as well as in the 
greatness of the deeds, and exalted by all 
who acknowledge Him as Father of our 
Lord Jesus Christ, " through whoin [by 
whom, A. v.] are all things, and for whom are 
all things." ^ Wherefore, saith the Lord, "All 
mine are thine," ' as though the sovereignty 
over created things were conferred on Him, 
and " Thine are inine," as though the creat- 
ing Cause came thence to Him. We are not 
to suppose that He used assistance in His 
action, or yet was entrusted with the ministry 
of each individual work by detailed commis- 
sion, a condition distinctly menial and quite 
inadequate to the divine dignity. Rather 
was the Word full of His Father's excel- 
lences ; He shines forth from the Father, and 
does all things according to the likeness of 
Him that begat Him. For if in essence He 
is without variation, so also is He without 

avapxo?, " the Son, if you understand the Father as cause, 
is not without beginning''." ap\-T7 -yapvioi) iraTr^p co? airto?. " For 
the Father, as cause, is Beginning of the Son." But, though 
the Son in this sense was not awanxo^, He was said to be 
begotten avap^ws. So Greg. Naz. {Horn, xxxvii. 590) to IIlov 
bfOfxa Toi) avapxoi? yevi^rj^^euroi, vl6<;. Cf, ihe Letter of Alexan- 
der of Alexandria to Alexander of Constantinople. Theod. 
Ecc, Hist . i. 3. T-<]V dvapxou aif^iZ napSi tov Trarpo? yei'i/rjaii' dvaTL 
6evTa<;. cf. Hooker, £cc. Pol. v. ^4. *♦ By the gift of eternal gen- 
eration Christ hath received of the Father one and in number 
the selfsame substance which the Father hath of himself un- 
received from any other. For every beginning is a father 
unto that which cometh of it; and every offspring is a son unto 
that out of which it groweth. Seeing, therefore, the Father 
alone is originally that Deity w^hich Christ originally is nnt 
(for Christ is God by being of God, light by issuing out of 
light), it followeth hereupon that whatsoever Christ hath com- 
mon unto him with his heavenly Father, the same of neces- 
sity must be given him, but naturally and eternally given." 
So Hilary De Trin. xii. 21. •' l/bi aicctor eternus est, ibi et 
tiativatis tEternitas est: quia sicut nativitas ab anctore est, 
ita et ab ceterno atictore ceterna nativitas estJ'^ And Augus- 
tine De Trin, v. 15, '* Nattiram prcestat jilio sine initio gen- 
era tio.'* 

1 T) auTo^torj. 3 John v. 19. ^ John v. 19. 

2 John vi. 57. 4 John xii. 49. 

6 Heb. ii. 10. cf. Rom. xi. 36, to which the reading of two 
manuscripts more distinctly assimilates the citation. The 
majority of commentators refer Heb. ii. 10, to the Father, Init 
Theodoret understands it of the Son, and the argument of St. 
Basil necessitates the same application. 

7 John xvii. 10. 



14 



BASIL 



variation in power.' And of those whose 
power is equal, the operation also is in all 
ways equal. And Christ is the power of 
God, and the wisdom of God.^ And so 
"all things are made through [by, A.V.] 
him," ^ and " all things were created through 
[by, A. v.] him and for him,'"* not in 
the discharge of any slavish service, but in 
the fulfilment of the Father's will as Creator. 
20. When then He says, *' I have not 
spoken of myself,"^ and again, ''As the 
Father said unto me, so I speak," ^ and " The 
word which ye hear is not mine, but [the 
Father's] which sent me," ' and in another 
place, "As the Father gave me command- 
ment, even so I do," ® it is not because He 
lacks deliberate purpose or power of initia- 
tion, nor yet because He has to wait for the 
preconcerted key-note, that he employs lan- 
guage of this kind. His object is to make it 
plain that His own will is connected in in- 
dissoluble union with the Father. Do not 
then let us understand by what is called 
a "commandment" a peremptory mandate 
delivered by organs of speech, and giving 
orders to the Son, as to a subordinate, con- 
cerning what He ought to do. Let us rather, 
in a sense befitting the Godhead, perceive a 
transmission of will, like the reflexion of an 
object in a mirror, passing without note of 
time from Father to Son. " For the Father 
loveth the Son and sheweth him all things," ^ 
so that "all things that the Father hath" 
belong to the Son, not gradually accruing to 
Him little by little, but with Him all to- 
gether and at once. Among men, the work- 
man who has been thoroughly taught his 
craft, and, through long training, has sure 
and established experience in it, is able, in 
accordance with the scientific methods which 
now he has in store, to work for the future 
by himself. And are we to suppose that the 
wisdom of God, the Maker of all creation. 
He who is eternally perfect, who is wise 
without a teacher, the Power of God, " in 
whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom 
and knowledge," ^^ needs piecemeal instruc- 
tion to mark out the manner and measure of 
His operations? I presume that in the vanity 
of your calculations, you mean to open a 
school ; you will make the one take His seat 
in the teacher's place, and the other stand by 
^" - c.v.^io.'. ignorance, gradually learning 



wisdom and advancing to perfection, by les- 
sons given Him bit by bit. Hence, if you 
have sense to abide by what logically fol- 
lows, you will find the Son being eternally 
taught, nor yet ever able to reach the end of 
perfection, inasmuch as the wisdom of the 
Father is infinite, and the end of the infinite 
is beyond apprehension. It results that 
whoever refuses to grant that the Son has 
all things from the beginning will never 
grant that He will reach perfection. But I 
am ashamed at the degraded conception to 
which, by the course of the argument, I have 
been brought down. Let us therefore revert 
to the loftier themes of our discussion. 

21. " He that hath seen me hath seen the 
Father;'" not the express^mage, nor yet the 
form, for the divine nature does not admit of 
combination ; but the goodness of the will, 
which, being concurrent with the essence, is 
beheld as like and equal, or rather the same, 
in the Father as in the Son.^ 

What then is meant by "became sub- 
ject".?^ What by "delivered him up for 
us all"?^ It is meant that the Son has it of 
the Father that He works in goodness on be- 
half of men. But you must hear too the 
words, " Christ hath redeemed us from the 
curse of the law ;" ^ and " while we were yet 
sinners, Christ died for us." ^ 

Give careful heed, too, to the words of the 
Lord, and note how, whenever He instructs us 
about His Father, He is in the habit of 
using terms of personal authority, saying, " I 
will ; be thou clean ;"'and " Peace, be still ;"** 
and "But I say unto you ;" ^ and "Thou 
dumb and deaf spirit,! charge thee ;"*° and all 
other expressions of the same kmd, in order 
that by these we may recognise our Master 
and Maker, and by the former may be taught 
the Father of our Master and Creator.'' 



in a scholar's 



1 an-apaAAa/cTco? e^ei. cf. Jas. i. 17. ,rap' c? ovk eVi TrapaAAayn. 
ine word aTrapaAAaxTo? was at first used hv the Catholic 

bishops at Niccea as implyinor ^uooiVto?. Vide Athan. De 
Decretis, § 20, in Wace and Schaff' s ed., p. 16^ 

2 I Cor. i. 24. 'ijohn xii. 49. 
8Johni.3. 6Johnxii.5o. 
4 Col. i. 16. 'John xiv. 24. 

10 Col. ii -^, A.V. cf. the amendment of R.V., «• all the treas- 
ures of wisdom and knowledge hidden," and Bp. Lightfoot on 
St. Paul's use of the gnostic term a7r6/cpv0os. 



* John xiv. 31. 
^John V. 20. 



1 John xiv, 9. 

2 The arijument appears to be not that Christ is not the 
'• express image," or impress ofthe Father, as He is described 
in Heb. i. 3, or form, as in Phil. ii. 6, but that this is not the 
sense in which our Lord's words in St. John xiv. 9, must be 
understood to describe "seeing the Father." Xapa/cmo and 
lxoo(f>ri are equivalent to 19 9eia <^ucri7, and wop^iv is used by St, 
Basil as it is used bv St. Paul,— coinciding with, if not fol- 
lowing, the usage ofthe older Greek philosophy, — to mean 
essential attributes which the Divine Word had before the in- 
carnation (c/. Eustathius in Theod.Dial. II. fWace and Schaff 
Ed., p. 203] ; " the express image made man," — 6 to* Trveu^ari 

The divine nature does not admit of combination, in the 
sense of confusion {cf. the protests of Theodoret in his Dia- 
logues against the confusion of the Godhead and manhood in 
the Christ), with the human nature in our Lord, and remains 
invisible. On the word x'^oanTrjo vide Suicer, and on (uonr^r; 
Archbp. Trench's New Testament Synonyms and Bp. Lightfoot 
on Philippians ii. 6. 

«Phil.ii.8, 6 Rom, v. 8, 9 Matt. v. 22, etc. 

4 Rom. viii. 32. ' Matt. viii. 3. ^^ Mark ix. 25. 

5 Gal. iii. 13. '' Mark iv. 30. 

» There is a difficultv in following the argument in the fore- 
going quotations. F. Combefis, the French Dominican editor 
of Basil, would boldly interpose a "not," and read 'whenever 
he does not instruct "us concerning the Father.' But there rs 
no MS. authofity for this violent remedy. The Benedictine 



ON THE SPIRIT. 



15 



Thus on all sides is demonstrated the true 
doctrine that the fact that the Father creates 
through the Son neither constitutes the 
creation of the Father imperfect nor exhibits 
the active energy of the Son as feeble, but 
indicates the unity of the will ; so the expres- 
sion '^ through whom " contains a confession 
of an antecedent Cause, and is not adopted in 
objection to the efficient Cause. 

CHAPTER IX. 

Definitive conceptions about the Spirit which 
conform to the teaching of the Scriptures, 

22. Let us now investigate what are our 
common conceptions concerning the Spirit, 
as well those which have been gathered by 
us from Holy Scripture concerning It as 
those which we have received from the un- 
written tradition of the Fathers. First of all 
we ask, who on hearing the titles of the 
Spirit is not lifted up in soul, who does not 
raise his conception to the supreme nature? 
It is called " Spirit of God," ' " Spirit of truth 
which proceedeth from the Father," ^ '' right 
Spirit," ^ '' a leading Spirit."* Its ^ proper 
and peculiar title is '' Holy Spirit; " which 
is a name specially appropriate to everything 
that is incorporeal, purely immaterial, and 
indivisible. So our Lord, when teaching 
the woman who thousfht God to be an ob- 
ject of local worship that the incorporeal is in- 
comprehensible, said " God is a spirit." ^ On 
our hearing, then, of a spirit, it is impossible 
to form the idea of a nature circumscribed, 
subject to change and variation, or at all like 
the creature. We are compelled to advance 
inour conceptions to the highest, and to think 
of an intelligent essence, in power infinite, 
in magnitude unlimited, unmeasured by times 
or ages, generous of It's good gifts, to whom 
turn all things needing sanctification, after 
whom reach all things that live in virtue, as 
being watered by It's inspiration and helped 
on toward their natural and proper end ; per- 
fecting all other things, but Itself in nothing 
lacking; living not as needing restoration, 
but as Supplier of life; not growing by addi- 
tions, but straightway full, self-established, 
omnipresent, origin of sanctification, light 
perceptible to the mind, supplying, as it 
were, through Itself, illumination to every 
ficulty in the search for truth ; by nature un- 



Ed 
eru 



editors say all is plain if we render ^^ postqnam nos de patre 
rUiUi'i't y But the Greek will not admit of this. 

1 Matt. xii. 2S, etc. 2 John xv. 26. ^ Ps. H. 10. 

4 Ps. li. 12, Ixx. R.V. and A. v., " free spirit." 
^ It will be remembered that in the Nicene Creed " the Lord 
and Giver of life " is to Kvpiov to ^woTrotoi'. In A.V. we have 
both he (John xv, 26, e/cetvo?) and it (Rom, viii. 16, avrb to 

TTViiVIXa) . 

<*John iv. 24. 



approachable, apprehended by reason of 
goodness, filling all tilings with Its power,^ 
but communicated only to the worthy ; not 
shared in one measure, but distributing Its 
energy according to "the proportion of 
faith ;"^ in essence simple, in powers various, 
wholly present in each and being wholly 
everywhere; impassively divided, shared 
without loss of ceasing to be entire, after the 
likeness of the sunbeam, whose kindly light 
falls on him who enjoys it as though it 
shone for him alone, yet illumines land and 
sea and mingles with the air. So, too, is 
the Spirit to every one who receives It, as 
though given to him alone, and }et It sends 
forth grace sufficient and full for all man- 
kind, and is enjoyed by all who share It, ac-^ 
cording to the capacity, not of Its power, but 
of their nature. 

23. Now the Spirit is not brought into 
intimate association with the soul by local 
approximation. How indeed coidd there l)e 
a corporeal approach to the incorporeal.^ 
This association results from the withdrawal 
of the passions which, coming afterwards 
gradually on the soul from its friendship to 
the flesh, have alienated it from its close 
relationship with God. Only then after a 
man is purified from the shame whose stain 
he took through his wickedness, and has 
come back again to his natural beauty, and as 
it were cleaning the Royal Image and restor- 
ing its ancient form, only thus is it possible 
for him to draw near to the Paraclete.^ And 
He, like the sun, will by the aid of thy puri- 
fied eye show thee in Himself the image of 
the invisible, and in the blessed spectacle of 
the image thou shalt behold the unspeakable 
beauty of the archetype.'* Through His aid 
hearts are lifted up, the weak are held by the 
hand, and they who are advancing are brought 
to perfection.^ Shining upon those that are 
cleansed from every spot. He makes them 
spiritual by fellowship with Himself. Just as 
when a sunbeam falls on bright and transpar- 
ent bodies, they themselves become brilliant 
too, and shed forth a fresh brightness from 
themselves, so souls wherein the Spirit dwells, 
illuminated by the Spirit, themselves become 
spiritual, and send forth their grace to others. 



If/". Wisdom i. 7. 2 Rom. xii. 6. 

8 cf. Theodoret, Dml. 1. p. 164, Schaff and Wace's ed. *' Sin 
is not of nature, but of corrupt will." So the ninth article of 
the English Church describes it as not the nnture, but the 
"fault and corruption of the nature, of every man." On the 
figure of the restored picture cf. Ath. de Incur. § 14, and 
Theod. Dial. ii. p. 1S3. 

4 cf. Ep. 2.^6. " Our mind, enlightened by the Spirit, looks 
toward the Son, and in Him, as in an image, contemplates 
the Father." There seems at first sight some confusion in 
the text between the *' Royal Image " in us and Christ as the 
image of God; but it is in proportion as we are like Christ 
that we see God in Christ. It is the " pure in heart '* who " see 
God." 

6 '^Projicientes perfciunticr" Ben. Ed. 



i6 



BASIL 



Hence comes foreknowledge of the future, 
understanding of mysteries, apprehension of 
what is hidden, distribution of good gifts, the 
heavenly citizenship, a place in the chorus 
of angels, joy without end, abiding in God, 
the being made like to God, and, highest of 
all, the being made God.' Such, then, to 
instance a few out of many, are the concep- 
tions concerning the Holy Spirit, which we 
have been taught to hold concerning His 
greatness, His dignity, and His operations, 
by the oracles ^ of the Spirit themselves. 



CHAPTER X. 



Agat?tst 



right 



those who say that it is not 
to ratik the Holy Spirit with the Father 
and the Son. 

24. But we must proceed to attack our 
opponents, in the endeavour to confute those 
''oppositions" advanced against us which 
are derived from '^ knowledge falsely so- 
called." ' 

It is not permissible, they assert, for the, 
Holy Spirit to be ranked with the Father and 
Son, on account of the difference of His 
nature and the inferiority of His dignity. 
Against tliem it is right to reply in the words 
of the apostles, ''We ought to obey God 
rather than men." ^ 

For if our Lord, when enjoining the bap- 
tism of salvation, charged His disciples to bap- 
tize all nations in the name "• of the Father 
and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost," ^ 

1 ©ebv Yeveo-^at. The thought has its most famous expres- 
sion in Ath. de Incar. § 54. He was made man that we might 
be made God — ©eo7roirj6>w/u.ei/. cf. De Decretis, § 14, and 
other passages of Ath. Irenaeus {Adv. Hcer. iv. 3S [Ixxv.]) 
writes " non ab initio dii fncti sumus, sed prima quidem homi- 
nes., tunc demum dii.''^ " Secundum enim beniffnitatem sitam 
bene dedit bonum, et similes sibi suce poiestatis homines' fecit ; " 
and Origen {contra Celsum, iii. 2S), " 'fhat the human nature 
by fellowship with the more divine might ^e made divine, not 
in Jesus only, but also in all those who with faith take up the 
life which Jesus taught; " and Greg. Naz. Or. xxx. § 14, •• Till 
by the power of the incarnation he make me God." 

In Basil adv. Eunom. ii. 4, we have, "They who are per- 
fect in virtue are deemed worthy of the title of God." 

cf. 3 Pet. i. 4: "That ye might be partakers of the divine 
nature." 

2 ujt' avrtxyf tiov Aoyt'cov toO irvevixnTO';. St. Basil is as un- 
conscious as other early Fathers of the limitation of the word 
Aoyia to "discourses." Vide Salmon's hit. to the N.T. Ed. 
iv. p. 95. 

3 I Tim. vi. 20. The intellectual championship of Basil 
was chiefly asserted in the vindication of the consubstantiality 
of the Spirit, against the Arians and Semi-Arians, of whom 
Eunom ius and Macedonius were leaders, the latter giving his 
name to the party who were unsound on the third Person of 
the Trinity, and were known as Macedonians as well as 
Pneumatomachi. But even among the maintainers of the 
Nicene confession there was much less clear apprehension of 
the nature and work of the Spirit than of the Son. Even so 
late as 3S0, the year after St. Basil's death, Gregory of Naz.ian- 
zus, Orat. xxxi. de Spiritti Sancto, Cap. 5, wrote "of the wise 
on our side some held it to be an energy, some a creature, some 
God. Others, from respect, they say, to Holy Scripture, which 
lays down no law on the subject, neither Avorship nor dishonour 
the Holy Spirit." r/. Schaflf's Nist. of Christian Ch. III. Period, 
Sec. 128. In Letter cxxv. of St. Basil will be found a summary 
of the heresies with which he credited the Arians, submitted to 
Eustathliis of Sebaste in 373, shortly before the composition of 
the present treatise for Amphilochius. 

* Acts v. 29. 5 Matt, xxviii. 19. 



not disdaining fellowship with Him, and these 
men allege that we must not rank Him with the 
Father and the Son, is it not clear that they 
openly withstand the commandment of God? 
If they deny that coordination of this kind 
is declaratory of any fellowship and conjunc- 
tion, let them tell us why it behoves us to 
hold this opinion, and what more intimate 
mode of conjunction * they have. 

If the Lord did not indeed conjoin the Spirit 
with the Father and Himself in baptism, do 
not"^ let them lay the blame of conjunction 
upon us, for we neither hold nor say anything 
different. If on the contrary the Spirit is 
there conjoined with the Father and the Son, 
and no one is so shameless as to say an3thing 
else, then let them not lay blame on us for 
following the words of Scripture. 

25. But all the apparatus of war has been 
got ready against us; every intellectual mis- 
sile is aimed at us; and now blasphemers' 
tongues shoot and hit and hit again, yet harder 
than Stephen of old was smitten by the 
killers of the Christ.^ And do not let them 
succeed in concealing the fact that, while an 
attack on us serves for a pretext for the war, 
the real aim of these proceedings is higher. 
It is against us, they say, that they are pre- 
paring their engines and their snares ; against 
us that they are shouting to one another, 
according to each one's strength or cunning, 
to come on. But the object of attack is 
faith. The one aim of the whole band of 
opponents and enemies of " sound doctrine " "* 
is to shake down the foundation of the faith 
of Christ by levelling apostolic tradition with 
the ground, and utterly destroying it. So 
like the debtors, — of course dona Jide debtors., 
— they clamour for written proof, and reject 
as worthless the unwritten tradition of the 
Fathers.^ But we will not slacken in our de 



iThe word used is a-vva(j)eLa, a crucial word in the con- 
troversy concerning the union of the divine and human natures 
in our Lord, cf. the third Anathema of Cyril auainst Nestorius 
and the use of this word, and Theodoret's counter statement 
(Theod. pp. 25, 27). Theodore of Mopsuestia had preferred 
(Tuva^eia to eVuxri? ; Andrew of Samosata saw no difference be- 
tween them. Athanasius {de Sent. Dionys. § 17) employs it 
for the mutual relationship of the Persons in the Holy Trinity : 
" TrooKarap/cTKcbv ya.p ian rrj^ <Ti;i'a<f)etas to ot'o/un." 

2 jji-qSe. The note of the Ben. Eds. is, " This reading, fol 
lowed by Erasmus, stirs the wrath of Combefis, who would 
lead, as is found in four MSS., tots riij.iv, ' then let them lay 
the blame on us.' But he is quite unfair to Erasmvis, who has 
more clearly apprehended the drift of the argument. Basil 
brings his opponents to the dilemma that the words ♦ In the 
name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost ' 
either do or do not assert a conjunction with the Father and the 
Son, If not, Basil ought not to be found fault with on the 
score of conjunction,' for he abides by the words of Scripture, 
and conjunction no more follows from his words than from 
those of our Lord. If they do, he cannot be found fault with 
for following the words of Scripture. The attentive reader 
will see this to be the meaning of Basil, and the received read- 
ing ought to be retained." 

^ Xpi<TTo4)6uoL. The compound occurs in Ps. Ignat. ad 
Philad. vi. 

4 I Tim. i. 10. 

^ Mr. Johnston sees here a reference to the parable of the 
unjust steward, and appositely quotes Greg. Naz. Orat.nxxS., 



ON THE SPIRIT. 



1/ 



fence of the truth. We will not cowardly 
al^andon the cause. The Lord has delivered 
to us as a necessary and saving doctrine that 
the Holy Spirit is to he ranked with the 
Father. Our opponents think differently, and 
see fit to divide and rend ^ asunder, and rele- 
g^ate Him to the nature of a ministering spirit. 
Is it not then indisputable that they make 
their own blasphemy more authoritative than 
the law prescribed by the Lord ? Come, then, 
set aside mere contention. Let us consider 
the points before us, as follows ; 

26. Whence is it that w^e are Chris- 
tians? Through our faith, would be the 
universal answer. And in what way are we 
saved? Plainly because we were regenerate 
through the grace given in our baptism. 
How else could we be ? And after recoo-nisinsf 
that this salvation is established through the 
Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost, 
shall we fling away ''that form of doctrine " ^ 
which we received? Would it not rather be 
ground for great groaning if we are found now^ 
further off from our salvation " than when 
we first believed,"^ and deny now what we 
then received? W^hether a man have de- 
parted this life without baptism, or have 
received a baptism lacking in some of the 
requirements of the tradition, his loss is 
equal/ And whoever does not always and 
everywhere keep to and hold fast as a sure 
protection the confession which we recorded 
at our first admission, when, being delivered 
"from the idols," we came ''to the living 
God,"* constitutes himself a "stranger" 
from the " promises " ^ of God, fighting 
against his own handwriting,' which he put 



§ 3, on the heretics' use of Scripture, "They find a cloak for 
their impiety in their affection for Scripture." The Arians at 
Nicsea objected to the omoouctiov as unscriptural. 

1 cf. Ep. cxx. 5. 2 Rom. vi. 17. 3 Rom. xiii. 11. R.V. 

* The question is whether the baptism has been solemnized, 
accordinii^ to the divine command, in the name of the Faiher, 
and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. St. Cyprinn in his con- 
troversy with Stephen, Bp. of Rome, represented the sterner 
view that heretical baptism was invalid. But, with some 
exceptions in the East, the position ultimately prevailed that 
baptism with water, and tn the prescribed -words^ by whom- 
soever administered, was valid. So St. Aua^ustine, " Si 
evanorelicis verbis in nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritns Snncti 
Marcion baptisinicm consecrabat, integrum erat Sacramentum, 
quamiHs ejus fides sub eisdem verbis alitid opiiiatitis gnam 
catholica Veritas docet 710 ti esset integer a. ''^ {Cont. Petil. de 
unico bapt. ^ 3.) So the VHI. Canon of Aries {7,1^), *■' De 
Afris, quod propria le^e sua utuntur ut rebaptizent, placuit, 
titf si ad ecclesiam aliquis de h(eresi venerit, interroffevt eum 
symbolum; et si perviderint eitm in Patre, et FHio et Spiritu 
Suncto^esse baptizatum, mantis ei tantum imponantur, ut 
accipiat spiritiim sanctum, ^uod si interrogatus non respon- 
derit hanc Trinitatem, baptizetur.'"'' So the VII. Canon of 
Constantinople (3S1) by which the Eunomians who only 
baptized with one immersion, and the Montanists, here called 
Phryg^ians, and the Sabellians, w^ho taught the doctrine of the 
Fatherhood of the Son, were counted as heathen. Vide Briglit's 
notes on the Canons of the Cotincils, p. 106. Socrates, v. 24, 
describes how the Eunomi-Eutychians baptized not in the name 
of the Trinity, but into the death of Christ. 

5 I Thess. i. 9. " Eph. ii, 12. 

■^ The word x^'-P^yp'^^^^'i more common in Latin than in 
Greek, is used generally for a bond. r/". Juv. Sat. xvi. 41, 
^^ Debitor ant sumptos pergitnon reddere nummos^vana snper- 
vactii dicens chirographa ligni.^^ On the use of the word , vide 
Bp. Ughttoot on Col. ii. 14. The names of the catechu 



on record when he professed the faith. For 
if to me my baptism was the beginning 
of life, and that day of regeneration the first 
of days, it is plain that the utterance utterea 
in the grace of adoption was the most honour- 
able of all. Can I then, perverted by these 
men's seductive words, abandon the tradition 
which guided me to the light, which bestowed 
on me the boon of the knowledge of God, 
whereby I, so long a foe by reason of sin, 
was made a child of God? But, for myself, 
I pray that with this confession I may depart 
hence to the Lord, and them I charge to 
preserve the faith secure until the day of 
Christ, and to keep the Spirit undivided from 
the Father and the Son, preserving, both in 
the confession of faith and in the doxology, 
the doctrine taught them at their baptism. 

CHAPTER XI. 

That they who deny the Spirit are trans- 
g7'essors. 

27. "Who hath woe? W^ho hath sor- 
row ? " * For whom is distress and darkness? 
For whom eternal doom ? Is it not for the 
trangressors? For them that deny the fiiith? 
And what is the proof of their denial? Is it 
not that they have set at naught their own 
confessions? And when and what did they 
confess? Belief in the Father and in the 
Son and in the Holy Ghost, when they re- 
nounced the devil and his angels, and ut- 
tered those saving words. What fit title 
then for them has been discovered, for the 
children of light to use? Are they not ad- 
dressed as transgressors, as having violated 
the covenant of their salvation? What am 
I to call the denial of God? What the 
denial of Christ? What but transgressions? 
And to him who denies the Spirit, what title 
do you wish me to appl}^? Must it not be the 
same, inasmucli as he has broken his covenant 
with God ? And when the confession of faith 
in Him secures the blessing of true religion, 
and its denial subjects men to the doom of 
godlessness, is it not a fearful thing for them 
to set the confession at naught, not through 
fear of fire, or sword, or cross, or scourge, or 
wheel, or rack, but merely led astray by the 
sophistry and seductions of the pneumatoma- 
chi ? I testify to every man who is confessing 
Christ and denying God, that Christ will profit 
him nothing;^ to every man that calls upoi 
God but rejects the Son, that liis faith is vain ; ^ 
to every man that sets aside the Spirit, that 



mens were registered, and the Renunciation and Profession of 
Fdith (l?iterrogntiofie<! et Responsa , eTrepajTrjcrets /cai anoKpu- 
o-eisO may have been signed. 

1 Prov. xxiii. 29. '^cf. Gal. v. 2. ^ cf. 1 Cor. xv. 17. 



i8 



BASIL 



his faith in the Father and the Son will be 
useless, for he cannot even hold it without 
the presence of the Spirit. For he who does 
not believe the Spirit does not believe in the 
Son, and he who has not believed in the 
Son does not believe in the Father. For 
none ^' can say that Jesus is the Lord but by 
the Holy Ghost," ' and '' No man hath seen 
God at any time, but the only begotten God 
which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath 
declared him." ^ 

Such an one hath neither part nor lot in the 
true worship ; for it is impossible to worship 
the Son, save by the Holy Ghost ; impossible 
to call upon the Father, save by the Spirit of 
adoption. 

CHAPTER XH. 

Against those who assert that the baptism in 
the name of the Father alone is sufficient. 

28. Let no one be misled by the fact of 
the apostle's frequently omitting the name 
of the Father and of the Holy Spirit when 
making mention of baptism, or on this 
account imagine that the invocation of tiie 
names is not observed. '* As many of you," 
he says, "as were baptized into Christ have 
put on Christ; " ^ and again, " As many of 
you as were baptized into Christ were bap- 
tized into his death." ^ For the naming of 
Christ is the confession of the whole, ^ shew- 
ing forth as it does the God who ^ave, the 
Son who received, and the Spirit who is, the 
unction.^ So we have learned from Peter, 
in the Acts, of " Jesus of Nazareth whom 
God anointed with the Holy Ghost ; " ' and 
in Isaiah, "The Spirit of the Loul is upon 
me, because the Lord hath anointed me ; " " 
and the Psalmist, " Therefore God. even thy 
God, hath anointed thee with the oil of glad- 
ness above thy fellows." ^ Scripture, how- 
ever, in the case of baptism, sometimes 
plainly mentions the Spirit alone. '° 

" For into one Spirit," " it says, " we were 
all baptized in ^'^ one body." '^ And in har- 



^ I Cor. xii. 3. 

2 John i. 18. On the reading "only begfotten God" cf. 
note on p. 9. In this passage in St. Basil " God " is the 
reading of three MSS. at Paris, that at Moscow, that at 
the Bodleian, and that at Vienna. "Son" is read by Regius 
III., Regius I., Regius IV., and Regius V. in Paris, tiie 
three last being all of the 14th century, the one in the Hritish 
Museum, and another in the Imperial Library at Vienna, 
which generaliv agrees with our own in the Museum. 

3 Gal. iii. 27,'R.V. 

4 Kom. vi. 3, with change to 2d person. 

5 cf. note on p. 17 

" '• 17 ToD Xpio-Toi} npo<Tr\yopia . . . SrjAoi t6v re. XpiaavTa ©ebv 
Kal Tov \pi.(T6ei'Ta Ylbv Ka'i to Xptcr/oio to IIveGua." 

" Acts X. 38. sis.lx. I. yps.xlv. 7. 

1" No subject occurs in the original, but *' Scripture " seems 
better than" '_* the Apostle" of the Bened. Tr. " Vi'dettir 
fecisse mentionein" moreover, is not the I^alin for (/>ati'€Tai 
/LLiojaoreiicro?, but for (^atvcTat ju.vrjjao^'fcOcrat. 

*i Sic. ^2 Sic. 13 I Cor. xii. 13, loosely quoted. 



mony with this are the passages: "You 
shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost," ' 
and " He shall baptize you with the Holy 
Ghost."'' But no one on this account would 
be justified in calling that baptism a perfect 
baptism wherein only the name of the Spirit 
wr.s invoked. For the tradition thathasbeen 
given us by the quickening grace must re- 
main for ever inviolate. He who redeemed 
our life from destruction ^ gave us power of 
renewal, whereof the cause is ineflable and 
hidden in mystery, but bringing great saha- 
tion to our souls, so that to add or to take 
away anything * involves manifestly a falling 
away from the life everlasting. If then in 
baptism the separation of the Spirit from the 
Father and the Son is perilous to the bap- 
tizer, and of no advantage to the baptized, 
how can the rending asunder of the Spirit 
from Fatlier and 'from Son be safe for us.^^ 
Faith and baptism are two kindred and in- 
separable ways of salvation : faith is perfect- 
ed through baptism, baptism is established 
through faith, and both are completed by 
the same names. For as we believe in the 
Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost, so 
are we also ba]:)tized in the name of the 
Father and of the Son and of the Holy 
Ghost : first comes the confession, introduc- 
ing us to salvation, and baptism follows, set- 
ting the seal upon our assent. 

CHAPTER XIII. 

Statement of the reaso7i why in the writings of 
Paul the angels are associated with the 
Father and the Son. 

29. It is, however, objected that other 
beings which are enumerated with the Father 
and the Son are certainly not always glorified 
together with them. The apostle, for in- 
stance, in his charge to Timothy, associates 
the angels with them in the words, " I charge 
thee before God and the Lord Jesus Christ 
and the elect angels." ^ We are not for 
alienating: the an^^els from the rest of crea- 
tion, and yet, it is argued, we do not allow 
of their being reckoned with the Father and 
the Son. To this I reply, although the 
argument, so obviously absurd is it, does not 
really deserve a reply, that possibly before a 
mild and gentle judge, and especially before 
One who by His leniency to those arraigned 
before Him demonstrates the unimpeachable 
equity of His decisions, one might be willing 
to offer as witness even a fellow-slave ; but 
for a slave to be made free and called a son 

1 Acts i. 5. 2 Lnke iii. 16. 3 tr/". Ps. ciii. 4. 

* cf. Deut. iv. 2, and Rev. xxi. iS, 19. 

5 cf. note on p. 17. ^ i Tim. v. 21. 



ON THE SPIRIT. 



19 



of God and quickened from death can only 
be brought about by Him who has acquired 
natural kinship with us, and has been 
chanofed from the rank of a slave. For how 
can we be made kin with God by one who 
is an alien ? How can we be freed by one 
who is himself under the 3'oke of slavery? It 
follows that the mention of the Spirit and 
that of angels are not made under like con- 
ditions. The Spirit is called on as Lord of 
life, and the angels as allies of their fellow- 
slaves and faithful witnesses of the truth. It 
is customary for the saints to deliver the 
commandments of God in the presence of 
witnesses, as also the apostle himself says 
to Timothy, " The things which thou hast 
heard of me among many witnesses, the same 
commit thou to faithful men ; " ' and now 
he calls the angels to witness, for he knows 
that angels shall be present with the Lord 
when He shall come in the glory of His 
P'ather to judge the world in righteousness. 
For He says, '' Whoever shall confess me 
before men, him shall the Son of Man also 
confess before the angels of God, but 
he that denieth Me before men shall be 
denied before the angels of God ; " ^ and 
Paul in another place says, '' When the Lord 
Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his 
angels." ^ Thus he already testifies before 
the angels, preparing good proofs for himself 
at the great tribunal. 

30. And not only Paul, but generally all 
those to whom is committed any ministry of 
the word, never cease from testifying, but call 
heaven and earth to witness on the erround 
that now every deed that is done is done 
within them, and that in the examination of 
all the actions of life they will be present 



with t' 
call to 
he ma 
when 
people 
witness 
he says, 
speak, a 
mouth ; " 




udged. So it is said, " He shall 
heavens above and to earth, that 
Ige his people." " And so Moses 
it to deliver his oracles to the 
s, ''I call heaven and earth to 
day ; " ^ and again in his song 
ive ear, O ye heavens, and I will 
hear, O earth, the words of my 
and Isaiah, '' Hear, O heavens, 
and give ear, O earth ; " ' and Jeremiah de- 
scribes astonishment in heaven at the tidings 
of the unholy deeds of the people: ''The 
heaven was astonished at this, and was 
horribly a1|^' d, because my people com- 
mitted two»veqls." ^ And so the apostle, 
knowing thf -mgels to be set over men as 
tutors and guardians, calls them to witness. 
Moreover, Joshua, the son of Nun, even 



1 2 Tim. ii. 

2 T.uke xii. 

3 2 Thess. 
* Ps ' 



2. 

8,9. 

,.7. 



■s.^. 



c Deut. iv. 26. 
" Deut. xxxii. i. 
^ Isa. i. 2. 
* Jer. ii. 12, 13, Ixx. 



set up a stone as witness of his words (al- 
ready a heap somewhere had been called a 
witness by Jacob),' for he sajs, " Behold 
this stone shall be a witness unto you this 
day to the end of days, when ye lie to the 
Lord our God," ^ perhaps believing that 
by God's power even the stones would 
speak to the conviction of the transgressors ; 
or, if not, that at least each man's conscience 
would be wounded by the force of the re- 
minder. In this manner they who have 
been entrusted with the stewardship of souls 
provide witnesses, whatever they may be, so 
as to produce them at some future day. 
But the Spirit is ranked together with God, 
not on account of the emergency of the 
moment, but on account of the natural fel- 
lowship; is not dragged in by us, but in- 
vited by the Lord. 

CHAPTER XIV. 

Objection that some were baptized ttnto Moses 
and believed in him, and an answe?- to it ; 
with I'c marks npon types. 

31. But even if some are baptized unto 
the Spirit, it is not, it is urged, on this ac- 
count right for the Spirit to be ranked with 
God. Some " were baptized unto Moses 
in the cloud and in the sea." ^ And it is ad- 
mitted that faith even before now has been 
put in men; for '' The people believed God 
and his servant Moses." ^ Why then, it is 
asked, do we, on account of faith and of 
baptism, exalt and magnify the Holy Spirit 
so far above creation, when there is 
evidence that the same things have before 
now been said of men? What, then, shall 
we reply? Our answer is that the faith in 
the Spirit is the same as the faith in the 
Father and the Son ; and in like manner, too, 
the baptism. But the faith in Moses and in 
the cloud is, as it were, in a shadow and type. 
The nature of the divine is very frequently 
represented by the rough and shadowy out- 
lines ^ of the types ; but because divine things 
are prefigured by small and human things, 
it is obvious that we must not therefore con- 
clude the divine nature to be small. The 
type is an exhibition of things expected, and 
gives an imitative anticipation of the future. 
So Adam was a type of '* Him that was 
to come." ^ Typically, "That rock was 
Christ; " ' and the water a type of the living 
power of the word; as He says, " If any 



3 I Cor. X. 2. 

4 Ex. xiv. 31, Ixx. 



1 Gen. xxxi. 47. 

2 Josh. xxiv. 27, Ixx. - ^A. Aiv. ^^1 , lAA. 

5 cTKtayoat/) a, or shade-paintin<»-, is illusory scene-paintin<r. 
Plato (Crit. 107 c.) calls it *' indistinct and deceptive." cf.Ar. 
Elk. JVic. i. 3, 4, " Tra^vAoj? Kui iv Tvnw." The tutto? gives the 
general design, not an exact anticipation. 

6 Rom. V. 14. MCor. X. 4, 



20 



BASIL 



man thirst, let him come unto me and 
drink." ' The manna is a type of the liv- 
ing bread that came down from heaven ; '^ 
and the serpent on the standard,^ of the 
passion of salvation accomplished by means 
of the cross, wherefore they who even looked 
thereon were preserved. So in like manner, 
the history of the exodus of Israel is recorded 
to shew forth those who are being saved 
through baptism. For the firstborn of the Is- 
raelites were preserved, like the bodies of the 
baptized, by the giving of grace to them that 
were marked with blood. For the blood of 
the sheep is a type of the blood of Christ ; 
and the firstborn, a type of the first- 
formed. And inasmuch as the first-formed 
of necessity exists in us, and, in sequence of 
succession, is transmitted till the end, it fol- 
lows that "in Adam" we " all die," ^ and 
that "death reigned"^ until the fulfilling 
of the law and the coming of Christ. And 
the firstborn were preserved by God from 
being touched by the destroyer, to show that 
v/e who were made alive in Christ no longer 
die in Adam. The sea and the cloud for 
the time being led on through amazement 
to faith, but for the time to come they 
typically prefigured the grace to be. " Who 
is wise and he shall understand these 
things? " ® — how t1ie sea is typically a bap- 
tismbringingaboutthe departure of Pharaoh, 
in like manner as this washing causes the 
departure of the tyranny of the devil. The 
sea slew the enemy in itself: and in baptism 
too dies our enmity towards God. From 
the sea the peoj^le came out unharmed : we 
too, as it were, alive from the dead, step up 
from the water " saved " by the " grace" of 
Him who called us.' And the cloud is a 
shadow of the gift of the Spirit, who cools 
the flame of our passions by the *' mortifica- 
tion " of our " members." ^ 

32. What then? Because they were typi- 
cally baptized unto Moses, is the grace of 
baptism therefore small? Were it so, and if 
we were in each case to prejudice the dignity of 
our privileges by comparing them with their 
types, not even one of these privileges could 
be reckoned great ; then not the love of God, 
who gave His only begotten Son for our 
sins, would be great and extraordinary, be- 
cause Abraham did not spare his own son ;^ 
tlien even the passion of the Lord would not 
be^ glorious, because a sheep typified the 
ofiering instead of Isaac; then the descent 
into hell was not fearful, because Jonah 

ijohnvii.37, 2 John vi. 49, 51, 

3 o-TjAte-oi', as in the LXX. cf. Numb. xxi. 9 and John iii. 14. 

^ I Cor. XV. 22. 7 Kph. ii. 5. 

'■■Rom.v. 17. 8C0I. iii, 5. 

xiv. 9. 9 cf. Rom. viii. 32. 



had previously typified the death in three 
days and three nights. The same prejudicial 
comparison is made also in the case of baptism 
by all who judge ofthercidity by the shadow, 
and, comparing the typified with the type, 
attempt by means of Moses and the sea to 
disparage at once the whole dispensation of 
the Gospel. What remission of sins, what re- 
newal of life, is there in the sea? What 
spiritual gift is there through Moses? What 
dying' of sins is there? Thofe men did 
not die with Christ ; wherefore they were not 
raised with Him.^ They did not " bear the 
image of the heavenly ; " ^ they did not " be;ir 
about in the body the dying of Jesus ; " "* they 
did not " put oft' the old man ; " they did not 
" put on the new man which is renewed in 
knowledge after the image of Him which 
created him."® Why then do you compare 
baptisms which have only the name in com- 
mon, while the distinction between the 
things themselves is as great as might be 
that of dream and realitv, that of shadow and 
figures with substantial existence? 

33. But belief in Moses not only does not 
show our belief in the Spirit to be worthless, 
but, if we adopt our opponents' line of argu- 
ment, it rather weakens our confession in the 
God of the universe. " The people," it is 
written, "believed the Lord and his servant 
Moses." ^ Moses then is joined with God, 
not with the Spirit; and he was a type not 
of the Spirit, but of Christ. For at that time 
in the ministry of the law, he by means of 
himself typified " the Mediator between God 
and men." ' Moses, when mediating for the 
people in things pertaining to God, was not 
a minister of the Spirit; for the law was 
given, " ordained by angels in the hand of a 
mediator," ^ namely Moses, in ac^wlance 
with the summons of the peoph 
thou with us, . . . but let not! 
with us." ^ Thus faith in Moses isl 
the Lord, the Mediator between 
men, who said, "Had ye believed] 
w^ould have believed me." ^^ \\ 
faith in the Lord a trifle, because 
nified beforehand through Moses? 
even :f men were baptized unto Moses, it does 
not follow that the grace given of the Spirit 
in baptism is small. I may point out, too, 
that it is usual in Scripture to say Moses and 
the law," as in the passage, 'MThey have 




5peak 

i speak 

brred to 

od and 

OSes, ye 

hen our 

was sig- 

So then, 



Moses and the prophets." '^ Wlpn therefore 
it is meant to speak of the baptism of the law, 



1 01 



1 i/e'/cpwcTic, A.V. in 2 Cor. iv. 10, " dyinj.^," Rom. iv. 19, 
" deadness." 

2 c/. Rom. vi. 8. 5 Col. iii. 9, 10. 8 .Gal. iii. 19. 

3 I Cor. XV. 49. 6 Ex. xiv. 31. ^ jEx. xx. 19. 
* 2 Cor. iv. 10. 7 I Tim. ii. 5. l" j ohn v. 46. 

1^ i.e.y to mean by ** Moses," the law. ^2 'i_,^^ xvi. 29. 



,uke X 



ON THE SPIRIT. 



21 



the words are, "They were baptized unto 
Moses." * Why then do these calumniators 
of the truth, by means of the shadov/ and the 
types, endeavour to bring contempt and 
ridicule on the " rejoicing" of our " hope,"^ 
and the rich gift of our God and Saviour, 
who through regeneration renews our youth 
like the eagle's?^ Surely it is altogetlier 
childish, and like a babe who must needs be 
fed on milk,^ to be ignorant of the great 
mystery of oiu" salvation ; inasmuch as, in 
accordance with the gradual progress of our 
education, while being brought to perfec- 
tion in our training for godliness,^ we were 
first taught elementary and easier lessons, 
suited to our intelligence, while the Dis- 
penser of our lots was ever leading us up, by 
gradually accustoming us, like eyes brought 
up in the dark, to the great light of truth, 
^or He spares our weakness, and in the 
lepth of the riches ^ of His wisdom, and the 
inscrutable judgments of His intelligence, 
used this gentle treatment, fitted for our needs, 
gradually accustoming us to see first the 
shadows of objects, and to look at the sun in 
water, to save us from dashing against the 
spectacle of pure unadulterated light, and 
being blinded. Just so the Law, having a 
shadow of things to come, and the typical 
teaching of the prophets, which is a dark 
utterance of the truth, have been devised as 
means to train the eyes of the heart, in that 
hence the transition to the wisdom hidden 
in mystery '' will be made easy. Enough so 
far concerning types; nor indeed would it be 
possible to linger longer on this topic, or the 
incidental discussion would become many 
times bulkier than the main argument;, 

CHAPTER XV. 

Reply to the suggested objection that we are 
baptized " into water J^ Also concerning 
baptism. 

34. What more ? Verily, our opponents 
are well equipped with arguments. We are 
baptized, they urge, into water, and of 
course we shall not honour the water above 
all creation, or give it a share of the honour 
of the Father and of the Son. The argu- 
ments of these men are such as might be ex- 
]3ected from angry disputants, leaving no 
means untried in their attack on him who 
has offended them, because their reason is 
clouded over by their feelings. We will 
not, however, shrink from the discussion even 



1 I Cor. X. 2. 
2Heb. iii.6. 
3 cf. Ps. ciii. 5. 
*£/". Heb. V. 12. 



5 cf. I Tim. iv. 7. 
" Rom. xi. ,^3. 
7 1 Cor. ii. 7. 



of these points. If we do not teach the igno- 
rant, at least we shall not turn away before 
evil doers. But let us for a moment retrace 
our steps. 

35. The dispensation of our God and 
Saviour concerning man is a recall from the 
fall, and a return from the alienation caused by 
disobedience to close communion with God. 
This is the reason for the sojourn of Christ 
in the flesh, the pattern life described in the 
Gospels, the sufferings, the cross, the tomb, 
the resurrection ; so that the man who is being 
saved through imitation of Christ receives 
that old adoption. For perfection of life the 
imitation of Christ is necessary, not only in 
the example of gentleness,* lowliness, and 
long suffering set us in His life, but also of 
Plis actual death. So Paul, the imitator of 
Christ,^ says, " being made conformable 
unto his death; if by any means I might 
attain unto the resurrection of the dead." ^ 
How then are we made in the likeness 
of His death.? ^ In that we were buried ^ 
with Him by baptism. What then is the 
manner of the burial.? And what is the ad- 
vantage resulting from the iinitation .? P'irst, 
of all, it is necessary that the continuity of the 
old life be cut. And this is impossible un- 
less a man be born again, according to the 
Lord's word; ^ for the regeneration, as in- 
deed the name shews, is a beginning of a 
second life. So before beginning the second, 
it is necessary to put an end to the first. 
For just as in the case of runners who turn 
and take the second course,' a kind of halt 
and pause intervenes between the move- 
ments in the opposite direction, so also in 
making a change in lives it seemed necessary 
for death to come as mediator between the 
two, ending all that goes before, and begin- 
ning all that comes after. How then do 
we achieve the descent into hell.? By im- 
itating, through baptism, the burial of 
Christ. For the bodies of the baptized are, 
as it were, buried in the water. Baptism 
then symbolically signifies the putting off' of 
the works of the ffesh ; as the apostle says, 
ye were "circumcised with the circumcision 
made without hands, in putting oft' the body 
of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision 
of Christ; buried with him in baptism."® 

1 aopyrjaia in Arist. £f/i. iv. 5, 5, is the defect where meek- 
ness (TTpaoTT)?) is the mean. In Plutarch, who wrote a short 
treatise on it, it is a virtue. In Mark iii. 5, Jesus looked round 
on them " with anger, " /aer' opyrj?, but in Matt. xi. 29, He 
calls Himself Trpoios. 

2 c/". I Cor. xi. I. 3 Phil. iii. 10, Ti. 4 Rom. vi. 4, t;. 
•'■' A.V., " are buried." Grk. and R.V., " were buried." 
6 John iii. 3. 

^ In the double course ''StauAo?) the runner turned (/cajUTrrw) 
the post at the end of the stadium. So " Kdixxpai SLavXov 
Odrepov kujXov nd\ii/^' in yEscIi. A^^. 335, for retracing one's 
steps another way. 

8 Col. ii. II, 12. 



22 



BASIL 



And there is, as it were, a cleansing of the 
soul from tlie filth ^ that has grown on it 
from the carnal mind,^ as it is written, 
"• Thou shalt wash me, and I shall be whiter 
than snow." ^ On this account we do not, 
as is the fashion of the Jews, wash ourselves 
at each defdement, but own the baptism of 
sulvaticn * to be one.^ For there the death 
on behalf of the world is one, and 
one tlie resurrection of the dead, whereof 
baptism is a type. For this cause the Lord, 
who is the Dispenser of our life, gave us the 
covenant of baptism, containing a type of 
life and death, for the water fulfils the 
image of death, and the Spirit gives 
us the earnest of life. Llence it follows 
that the answer to our question why 
the water was associated with the Spirit^ is 
clear: the reason is because in baptism two 
ends were proposed ; on the one hand, the 
destroying of the body of bin,' that it may 
never bear fruit unto death ; ^ on the other 
hand, our living unto the Spirit,^ and having 
our fruit in holiness; ^'^ the water receiving 
the body as in a tomb figures death, while 
the Spirit pours in the quickening power, re- 
newing our souls from the deadness of sin 
unto their original life. This then is what 
it is to be born again of water and of the 
Spirit, the being made dead being effected in 
the water, while our life is wrought in us 
through the Spirit. Li three immersions," 
then, and with three invocations, the great 
mystery of baptism is performed, to the end 
that the type of death may be fully figured, 
and that by the tradition of the divine know- 
ledge the baptized may have their souls en- 
lightened. It follows that if there is any 
grace in the water, it is not of the nature of 
the water, but of the presence of the Spirit. 
For baptism is " not the putting away of the 
filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good 



^ rf. I Pet. iii. 21. 

2 TO aaoKKhv ({)o6vr)fji.a. cj. the (^pdfTjjU.a t^s capKos of Rom. 
vii: .6. cf. Article ix. 

^ Ps. h. 9. 7 c/. Rom. vi. 6. 

4 cf. I Pet. iii. 21. ^ cJ. Rom. vii. 5. 

c f/. Epli. iv. 5. 9 c/. Gal V. 25. 

c <:/". John iii. 5. i" f/". Rom. vi. 23. 

'1 Trine immersion was the universal rule of the Catholic 
Ciurch. cf. Greij-. Nyss. The Great Catechism^ p. 502 of this 
e<lition. So Tertull. de Cor. Mil. c. iii., Aquani adituri, 
ibide>n, sed et oliquanto priiis in ecclesia, sub atitistitis tnanu 
caiitestnmnr, itos renuntiare diabolo et pompce et avgtlis 
e/itf:. Dehinc ter mergitamiir. So/.omen (vi. 26) says that 
Eunomius was alleg-ed to be the first to maintain that baptism 
ou jht to be performed in -one immersion and to corrupt in 
thi-i manner the tradition of the apostles, and Theodoret 
(l{;cret. fab. iv. 3) describes Eunomius as abandoning- the 
trine immersion, and also the invocation of the Trinity as 
bap izini^^ into the death of Christ. Jeremy Taylor {Diictor 
d'ibilantinm, iii. 4, Sect. 13) says, '• In England we have a 
custom of sprinkling-, and that but once. . . . As to the 
number, thoui^h the Church of England hath made no law, 
and therefore the custom of doing it once is the more indiffer- 
ent and at liberty, yet if the trine immersion be agreeable to 
the analogy of the mystery, and the other be not, the custom 
on 'ht not to prevail, and is not to be complied with, if the case 
bj evident or declared." . 



conscience towards God."^ So in traininsf 
us for the life that follows on the resurrection 
the Lord sets out all the manner of life re- 
quired by the Gospel, laying down for us the 
law of gentleness, of endurance of wrong, of 
freedom from the defilement that comes of the 
love of pleasure, and from covetousness, to the 
end that we may of set purpose win before- 
hand and achieve all that the life to come of 
its inherent nature possesses. If therefore 
any one in attempting a definition were to 
describe the gospel as a forecast of the life 
that follows on the resurrection, he would 
not seem to me to go beyond what is meet 
and right. Let us now return to our main 
topic. 

36. Through the Holy Spirit comes our 
restoration to paradise, our ascension into 
the kingdom of heaven, our return to the 
adoption of sons, our liberty to call God our 
Father, our being made partakers of the 
grace of Christ, our being called children of 
light, our sharing in eternal glory, and, in 
a word, our being brought into a state of all 
" fulness of blessing,'' ^ both in this world 
and in the world to come, of all the good 
gifts that are in store for us, by promise 
whereof, through faith, beholding the re- 
flection of their grace as though they were 
already present, we await the full enjoyment. 
If such is the earnest, what the perfection } 
If such the first fruits, what the complete ful- 
filment.? Furthermore, from this too may be 
apprehended the difference between the grace 
that comes from the Spirit and the baptism 
by water : in that John indeed baptized with 
water, but our Lord Jesus Christ by the Holy 
Ghost. " I indeed," he says, " baptize you 
with Avater unto repentance; but he that 
Cometh after me is mightier than I, whose 
shoes I am not worthy to bear : he shall bap- 
tize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire." ^ 
Here He calls the trial at the judgment 
the baptism of fire, as the apostle says, 
••'The fire shall try every m^n's work, of 
what sort it is."* And again, ''The day 
shall declare it, because it shall be revealed 
by fire." ^ And ere now there have been some 
who in their championship of true religion 
have undergone the death for Christ's sake, 
not in mere similitude, but in actual fact, and 
so have needed none of the outward signs of 
water for their salvation, because they were 
baptized in their own blood. ^ Thus I write 

1 I Pet. iii. 21. 3 Matt. iii. 11. ^ id. 

2 Rom. XV. 29. * I Cor. iii. 13. 

6 On the martyrs* baptism of blood, cf. Eus. vi. 4, on the 
martyrdom of the Catechumen Herais. So St. Cynl, of Jeru- 
salem {Cat. Led. iii. 10), "If a man receive not baptism, he 
has not salvation; excepting- only the martyrs, even who 
without the water receive the kingdom. For when the S;iviour 
was ransoming the world through the cross, and was pierced 



ON THE SPIRIT. 



23 



not to disparage the baptism by water, but 
to overthrow the arguments ^ of those who 
exalt themselves against the Spirit; who 
confound things that are distinct from one 
another, and compare those which admit of 
no com^^arison. 

CHAPTER XVI. 

That the Holy Spirit is in every eonception in- 

sepa7-able from the Father and the Son, alike 

in the creation of perceptible objects, in the 

dispensation of human affairs, and in the 

judgment to come. 

2^']. Let us then revert to the point raised 
from the outset, that in all things the Holy 
Spirit is inseparable and wholly incapable of 
being parted from the Father and the Son. 
St. Paul, in the passage about the gift of 
tongues, writes to the Corinthians, *' If ye all 
prophesy and there come in one that believeth 
not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, 
he is judged of all ; and thus are the secrets 
of the heart made manifest; and so falling 
down on his face he will worship God and 
report that God is in you of a truth." ^ If 
then God is known to be in the prophets 
by the prophesying that is acting according 
to the distribution of the gifts of the Spirit, 
let our adversaries consider what kind of 
place they will attribute to the Holy Spirit. 
Let them say whether it is more proper to 
rank Him with God or to thrust Him forth 
to the place of the creature. Peter's words 
to Sapphira, " How is it that ye have agreed 
together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord ? Ye 
have not lied unto men, but unto God," ^ show 
that sins against the Holy Spirit and against 
God are the same ; and thus you might learn 
that in every operation the vSpirit is closelv 
conjoined with, and inseparable from, the 
Father and the Son. God works the differ- 
ences of operations, and the Lord the diver- 
sities of administrations, but all the while the 
Holy Spirit is present too of His own will, 
dispensing distribution of the gifts according 
to each recipient's worth. For, it is said, 
'• there are diversities of gifts, but the same 
Spirit; and differences of administrations, but 
the same Lord ; and there are diversities of 
operations, but it is the same God which 
worketh all in all."* *'But all these," it is 



in the side, He gave forth hlood and water, that some in times 
of peace should be baptized in water; others in time of perse- 
cution, in their own blood." So Tertullian {In Valentin, ii.) 
of the Holy Innocents, *' baptized in blood for Jesus' sake" 
(Keble) , *' testimonium Christi sanguine litavereV 
*■ Tous Aoytcr/oiou? KaOaipittv. cf. 2 Cor. x. 4. 

2 I Cor. xiv. 24, 25. 

3 Acts V. 9 and 4. "Thou hast not lied," said to Ananias, 
interpolated into the rebuke of Sapphira. 

* 1 Cor. xii. 4, 5, 6. 



said, " worketh that one and the self-same 
Spirit, dividing to every man severally as He 
will." * It must not however be supposed 
because in this passage the apostle names in 
the first place the Spirit, in the second the 
Son, and in the third God the Father, that 
therefore their rank is reversed. The apos- 
tle has only started in accordance with our 
habits of thought; for when we receive gifts, 
the first that occurs to us is the distributer, 
next we think of the sender, and then we 
lift our thoughts to the fountain and cause 
of the boons. 

3S. Moreover, from the things created at 
the beginning may be learnt the fellowship 
of the Spirit with the Father and the Son. 
The pure, intelligent, and supermundane 
powers are and are styled holy, because they 
have their holiness of the grace given by the 
Holy vSpirit. Accordingly the mode of the 
creation of the heavenly powers is passed 
over in silence, for the historian of the cos- 
mogony has revealed to us only the creation 
of things perceptible by sense. But do thou, 
who hast power from the things that are seen 
to form an analogy of the unseen, glorify the 
Maker by whom all things were made, visi- 
ble and invisible, principalities and powers, 
authorities, thrones, and dominions, and all 
other reasonable natures whom we cannot 
name.^ And in the creation bethink thee 
first, I pray thee, of the original cause of all 
things that are made, the Father ; of the 
creative cause, the Son ; of the perfecting 
cause, the Spirit ; so that the ministering 
spirits subsist by the will of the Father, are 
brought into being by the operation of the 
Son, and perfected by the presence of the 
Spirit. Moreover, the perfection of angels is 
sanctification and continuance in it. And 
let no one imagine me either to affirm that 
there are three original hypostases ^ or to al- 
lege the operation of the Son to be imperfect. 
For the first principle of existing things is 
One, creating through the Son and perfecting 
through the Spirit.'* The operation of the 
Father who worketh all in all is not imper- 
fect, neither is the creating work of the Son 
incomplete if not perfected by the Spirit. 
The Father, who creates by His sole will, 
could not stand in any need of the Son, but 
nevertheless He wills through the Son ; nor 
could the Son, who works according to the 
likeness of the Father, need co-operation, but 
the Son too wills to make perfect through the 
Spirit. "For by the word of the Lord were the 

1 I Cor. xii. II. 2 w; Col. i. 16. 

3 wTTocTTaa-ei?. apparently used here as the equivnlent of oucrt'ai, 
unless the negation only extends to apxifa?. cf. note on p. fj. 

4 Contrast'thc neuter to hv of P;ii>-;in philosopliy with the 
6 <iiv or eyw eijui ot Christian revelation. 



24 



BASIL 



heavens made, and all the host of them by 
the breath [the Spirit] of His moutii." * The 
Word then is not a mere significant impres- 
sion on the air, borne by the or^rans of 
speech ; nor is the Spirit of His mouth a 
vapour, emitted by the organs of respiration ; 
but the Word is He who "was v^^ith God in 
the beGfinninor" and "was God,"^ and the 
Spirit of the mouth of God is "the Spirit of 
truth which proceedeth from the Father." ^ 
You are therefore to perceive three, the Lord 
who gives the order, the Word who creates, 
and the Spirit who confirms/ And what 
other thin": could confirmation be than the 
perfecting according to holiness? This per- 
iecting expresses the confirmation's firmness, 
unchangeableness, and fixity in good. But 
there is no sanctification without the 
Spirit. The powers of the heavens are 
not holy by nature ; were it so there would 
in this respect be no difference between them 
and the Holy Spirit. It is in proportion to 
their relative excellence that they have their 
meed of holiness from the Spirit. The brand- 
ing-iron is conceived of together with the 
fire ; and yet the material and the fire are 
distinct. Thus too in the case of the heavenly 
powers ; their substance is, peradventure, an 
aerial spirit, or an immaterial fire, as it is 
written, " Who maketh his angels spirits and 
his ministers a flame of fire ; " ^ wherefore 
they exist in space and become visible, and 
appear in their proper bodily form to them 
that are worthy. But their sanctification, 
being external to their substance, superin- 
duces their perfection through the commun- 
ion of the Spirit. They keep their rank by 
their abiding in the good and true, and 
while they retain their freedom of will, 
never fall away from their patient attend- 
ance on Him who is truly good. It results 
that, if by your argument you do away with 
the Spirit, the hosts of the angels are dis- 
banded, the dominions of archangels are 
destroyed, all is thrown into confusion, and 
their life loses law, order, and distinctness. 
For how are angels to cry " Glory to God in 
the highest"® without being empowered 
by the Spirit? For "No man can say that 
Jesus is the Lord but by the Holy Ghost, and 
no man speaking by the Spirit of God call- 
eth Jesus accursed;"^ as might be said by 
wicked and hostile spirits, whose fall estab- 



1 Ps. xxxiii.6. 2johni.i. ^Jnhnniv. 26. 

* Tov cTTepfovuTa TO Trvev/xa. It is to be noticed here that St. 
Basil uses the masculine and more personal form in apposition 
with the neuter nfevfj-a, and not the neuter as in the creed of 
Constantinople, to Kvptov /cal t\ Zcoottoioi/ to e/c toO TraTpb? 
eKnopevoixevou, etc. There is scriptural authority for the mas- 
culine in the " orav de eXOrj e/ceii/os, to Trveu^a Try? a\r]6eias " of 
John xvi. i;^. cf. p. 15-17. 

f' i's. xiv. 4.. e Lul^^e ii. 14. 'f i Cor. xii. 3. 



lishes our statement of the freedom of tlie 
will of the invisible powers ; being, as they 
are, in a condition of equipoise between 
virtue and vice, and on this account needing 
the succour of the Spirit. I indeed maintain 
that even Gabriel ' in no other way foretells 
events to come than by the foreknowledge of 
the Spirit, by reason of the fact that one of 
the boons distributed by the Spirit is prophe- 
cy. And whence did he who was ordained 
to announce the mysteries of the vision to 
the Man of Desires'^ derive the wisdom 
whereby he was enabled to teach hidden 
things, if not from the Holy Spirit? The 
revelation of mysteries is indeed the peculiar 
function of the Spirit, as it is written, "God 
hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit.'*' 
And how could " thrones, dominions, prin- 
cipalities and powers"^ live their blessed 
life, did they not "behold the face of the 
Father which is in heaven " ?^ But to behold 
it is impossible without the Spirit! Just as 
at night, if you withdraw the light from the 
house, the eyes fall blind and their faculties 
become inactive, and the worth of objects 
cannot be discerned, and gold is trodden on 
in ignorance as though it were iron, so in 
the order of the intellectual world it is impos- 
sible for the high life of Law to abide with- 
out the Spirit. For it so to abide were as 
likely as that an army should maintain its 
discipline in the absence of its commander, 
or a chorus its harmony without the guidance 
of the coryphaeus. How could the Sera- 
phim cry" Holy, Holy, Holy,"^ were they 
not taught by the Spirit how often true relig- 
ion requires them to lift their voice in this 
ascription of glory? Do "all His angels" 
and "all His hosts"' praise God? It is 
through the co-operation of the Spirit. Do 
"thousand thouSc.nd" of angels stand before 
Him, and " ten thousand times ten thou- 
sand " ministering spirits ? ^ They are 
blamelessly doing their proper work by the 
power of the Spirit. All the glorious and 
unspeakable harmony ^ of the highest heavens 
both in the service of God, and in the mutual 
concord of the celestial powers, can there- 
fore only be preserved by the direction of the 
Spirit. Thus with those beings who are not 
gradually perfected by increase and advance,^" 
but are perfect from the moment of the crea- 
tion, there is in creation the presence of the 



1 Luke i. II. 

2" Man greatly beloved." A.V. and R.V. Dan. x. 11. 

3 I Cor. ii. 10. 6 Is. vi. 3. 

4 Col. i. 16. "* Ps. cxlviii. 2. 
6 Matt, xviii. to. « Dan. vii. 10. 

9 cf. Job xxxviii. 7, thouafh for the first clause the Ixx. reads 
ore eyevriOr] daTpa. On the jPythagorean theory of the harmony 
of the spheres vide Arist. De Ccel. ii. 9, i. 

1" 77poKon-7j. cf. Trpoi/coTTTe of the boy Jesus in Luke ii. 52. 



ON THE SPIRIT. 



25 



Holy Spirit, who confers on them the grace 
that flows from Him for the completion and 
perfection of their essence.* 

39. But when we speak of the dispensa- 
tions made for man by our great God and 
Saviour Jesus Christ,'^ who will gainsay 
their having been accomplished through the 
grace of the Spirit? Whether you w^ish to 
examine ancient evidence ; — the blessings of 
the partriarchs, the succour given through 
the legislation, the types, the prophecies, the 
valorous feats in war, the signs wrought 
through just men ; — or on the other hand the 
things done in the dispensation of the com- 
ing of our Lord in the flesh ; — all is through 
the Spirit. In the first place He was made 
an unction, and being inseparably present 
was with the very flesh of the Lord, ac- 
cording to that which is written, " Upon 
whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending 
and remaining on Him, the same is" ^ '' my 
beloved Son;'"* and "Jesus of Nazareth" 
whom " God anointed with the Holy 
Ghost." '" After this every operation was 
wrought wdth tb.e co-operation of the Spirit. 
He was present when the Lord was being 
tempted by the devil; for, it is said, " Jesus 
was led up of the Spirit into the v^ilderness 
to be tempted." ® He was inseparably with 
Him while working His wonderful works;' 
for, it is said, " If I by the Spirit of God cast 
out devils."^ And He did not leave Him 
when He had risen from the dead ; for when 
renewing man, and, by breathing on the 
face of the disciples,® restoring the grace, 
that came of the inbreathing of God, which 
man had lost, what did the Lord say? " Re- 
ceive ye the Holy Ghost : whose soever sins 
ye remit, they are remitted unto them ; and 
whose soever ye retain, they are retained.'* *° 
And is it not plain and incontestable that 
the ordering of the Church is effected through 
the Spirit? For He gave, it is said, ''in the 
church, first Apostles, secondarily prophets, 

1 iTToo-Tacrt?, apparently again used in its earlier identifica- 
tiTi with ovcrta. 

2 Titus ii. 13, R.V. The A.V. favours the view, opposed to 
that of the Greek Fathers, that " the great God" means the 
Father, cf. Theodoret in this edition, pp. 319 and 321 and 
notes. 

■' John i. 33. 6 Acts x. 3S. 

4"Matt. iii. 17. 6 Matt, iv, i. 

" 6 'I'aaei?, rendered "wonderful works" in Matt. vii. 22; 
" 'uiijhty works " in Matt. xi. 20, Mark vi. 14, and I^uke x. 13; 
and ■' miracles " in Acts ii. 22, xix. 11, and Gal. iii. v. 

8 Matt. xii. 2S. 

^ Gen. ii. 7> Ixx. is eve(liv(Tr]<jev el? rr) irpocniiTTOv avrou. " ei? to 
ro^cT 07T0V " is thence imported into John xx. 22. Mr. C. F. H. 
1'ihnston notes, "This addition ... is found in the Prayer at 
the Little Entrance in the Liturgy of St. Mark. Didymus, in 
liis treatise on the Holy Spirit, which we have only in St. 
Jerome's Latin Version, twice uses '^ iusiifflans in facieni 
roriiiit,^ §§ 6, 33. The text is quoted in this form l)y Epiphanius 
Adv. Hcer. Ixxiv. 13, and by St. Aug. De Tri'n. iv. 20." To 
these instances may he added Athan. Ep. i. § 8, and the ver- 
sions of Upper and Lower Egypt, the Thebaic, known as the 
Sahiiiic, and the Memphitic, or Coptic, both ascribed to the 
3d century. 1° John xx. 22, 23. 



thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then 
gifts of healing, helps, governments, diver- 
sities of tongues," * for this order is ordained 
in accordance with the division of the gifts 
that are of the Spirit.^ 

40. Moreover by any one who carefull}' 
uses his reason it will be found that even at 
the moment of the expected appearance of 
the Lord from heaven the Holy Spirit will 
not, as some suppose, have no functions to 
discharge : on the contrary, even in the day 
of His revelation, in which the blessed and 
only potentate^ will j'udge the world in right- 
eousness,'* the Holy Spirit will be present 
with Him. For wdio is so ignorant of the good 
things prepared by God for them that are 
worthy, as not to know that the crown of 
the righteous is the grace of the Spirit, be- 
stowed in more abundant and perfect meas- 
ure in that day, when spiritual glory shall 
be distributed to each in proportion as he shall 
have nobly played the man .^ For among the 
glories of the saints are '' many mansions" 
in the Father's house, ^ that is differences of 
dignities: for as " star difiereth from star in 
glory, so also is the resurrection of the 
dead." ^ They, then, that were sealed by the 
Spirit unto the day of redemption,' and 
preserve pure and undiminished the first 
fruits which they received of the Spirit, are 
they that shall hear the words " well done 
thou good and faithful servant; thou hast 
been faithful over a few things, I will make 
thee ruler over many things." ^ In like 
manner the}^ which have grieved the Holy 
Spirit by the wickedness of their ways, or 
have not wrought for Him that gave to 
them, shall be deprived of what they have 
received, their grace being transferred to 
others ; or, according to one of the evan- 
gelists, they shall even be wholly cut asunder,^ 
— the cutting asunder meaning complete 
separation from the Spirit. The body is not 
divided, part being delivered to chastise- 
ment, and part let off*; for when a whole has 
sinned it were like the old fables, and un- 
worthy of a righteous judge, for only the half 
to suffer chastisement. Nor is the soul cut in 
two, — that soul the whole of which possesses 
the sinful affection throughout, and works 
the wickedness in co-operation with the body. 
The cutting asunder, as I have observed, is 
the separation for aye of the soul from the 
Spirit. For now, although the Spirit does 
not suffer admixture with the unworthy. He 



1 I Cor. xii. 28. 3 I Tim. vi. 15. 

2 cf. I Cor. xii. 11. * Acts xvii. 31. 

5 Trapa Tw Trarpt, { = chez le Pere,) with little or no change 
of meaning, for ev Trj oiKia toD Trarpo? nov. John xiv. 2. 

6 I Cor. XV. 41, 42. 8 ]VJatt. XXV. 21. 
^ cf. Eph. iv. 30. * Matt. xxiv. 51. 



26 



BASIL 



nevertheless does seem in a manner to be 
present with them that have once been sealed, 
awaiting the salvation which follows on their 
conversion; but then He will be wholly 
cut off from the soul that has defiled His 
grace. For this reason " In Hell there is 
none that maketh confession; in death none 
thatrcmembcreth God," * because the succour 
of the Spirit is no longer present. How then 
is it possible to conceive that the judgment 
is accomplished without the Holy Spirit, 
wherein the word points out that He. is Him- 
self the prize ^ of the righteous, when instead 
of the earnest '^ is given that which is per- 
fect, and the first condemnation of sinners, 
when they are deprived of that which they 
seem to have? But the greatest proof of 
the conjunction of the Spirit with the Father 
and the Son is that He is said to have the 
same relation to God which the spirit in us 
has to each of us. " For what man" it is 
said, *' knoweth thethingsof a man, save the 
spirit of man which is in him? even so the 
things of God knoweth no man but the 
Spirit of God." ' 

On this point I have said enough. 

CHAPTER XVII. 

Against those who say that the Holy Ghost is 
not to be ninnhered witli, but numbered 
under, the Father and the Son. Wherein 
moreover there is a summary notice of 
the faith concerning 7'ight sub -numeration. 

41. What, however, ihey call subnu- 
meration,^ and in what sense they use this 
word, cannot even be imagined without 
difficulty. It is well known that it was im- 
ported into our language from the '' wisdom 
of the world ; " '^ but a point for our present 
consideration will be whether it has any 
immediate relation to the subject under dis- 
cussion. Those who are adepts in vain in- 
vestigations tell us that, while some nouns 
are common and of widely extended denota- 
tion, others are more specific, and that the 
force of some is more limited than that of 
others. Essence, for instance, is a common 
noun, predicable of all things both animate 
and inanimate ; while animal is more spe- 



* Ps- yi. 5» Ixx. OTt ovK icr-Tiv iv tu5 flavarw 6 /nvrjjaoveuwv trou, 
kv 8e Tu) a))7 Tt? f'f 0M.oAoyi7(reTai (rot; Vulg. " In inferno autem 
qtiis confitebitur tibi ? " 

2 Phil, iii, 14. 3 2 Cor. i. 23, V. 5. *iCor. ii. 11. 

f'«'Th;; word was used as a quasi philosophical term to 
express the doctrine quoted l)y St. Basil, in § 13 : it does not 
occur in the confession of Eunoniius, which was prepared after 
this book, A.D. 3S2; but it was used by him in his Liber 
ApoloereticHS (before A.D. 365) against which St. Basil 
wrote." Rev. C. F. H. Johnston. For " i/7rapi0;arj(ri? " the 
only authorities given by the lexicons are ♦' ecclesiastical." 
But the importation from the "wisdom of the world " implies 
use in heathen philosophy. 

^ cf.x Cor. i. 20. 



cific, being predicated of fewer subjects than 
the former, though of more than those 
which are considered under it, as it em- 
braces l)oth rational and irrational nature. 
Again, human is more specific than animal, 
and man than human, and than man the 
individual Peter, Paul or John.^ Do they 
then mean by subninneration the division of 
the common into its subordinate parts? But 
I should hesitate to believe they have 
reached such a pitch of infatuation as to 
assert that the God of the universe, like 
some common quality conceivable only by 
reason and without actual existence in any 
hypostasis, is divided into subordinate divi- 
sions, and that then this subdivision is called 
subnumeration. This would hardly be said 
even by men melancholy mad, for, besides 
its impiety, they are establishing the very 
opposite argument to their own contention. 
For the subdivisions are of the same essence 
as that from which they have been divided. 
The very obviousness of the absurdity makes 
it difficult for us to find arguments to con- 
fute their unreasonableness; so that really 
their folly looks like an advantage to them ; 
just as soft and yielding bodies offer no re- 
sistance, and therefore cannot be struck a 
stout blow. It is imposJiible to bring a vig- 
orous confutation to bear on a palpable ab- 
surdity. The only course open to us is to 
pass by their abominable impiety in silence. 
Yet our love for the brethren and the im- 
portunity of our opponents makes silence 
impossible. 

43. What is it that they maintain? Look 
at the terms of their imposture. '^ We 
assert that connumeration is appropriate to 
subjects of equal dignity, and subnumer- 
ation to those which vary in the direction of 
inferiority." *' Why," I rejoined, " do you 
say this? I fail to understand your extiaor- 
dinary wisdom. Do you mean that gold 
is numbered with gold, and that lead is un- 
worthy of the connumeration, but, because 
of the cheapness of the material, is subnu- 
merated to gold? And do 30U attribute so 
much importance to number as that it can 

1 *' This portion of the theory of general lantriiaije is the sub- 
ject of what is termed the doctrine of the Predicables; a set of 
distinctions handed down from Aristotle, and his follower 
Porphyry, many of which have taken a firm root in scientific, 
and some of them even in popular, phraseology. The predi- 
cables are a five-fold division of General Names, not grounded 
as usual on a difference in their meaning, that is, in the 
attribute which they connote, but on a difference in the kind of 
class which they denote. We may predicate of a thing five 
different varieties of class-name: 

A genus of the thing (yevos). 

A. species (€i6o?). 

A differentia (Sia^opa). 

J^propritim (ifiioi'). 

An accidens (o-u/ui/Se^rj/cd?). 

It is to be remarked of these distinctions, that they express, 
not what the predicate is in its own meaning, but what rela- 
tion it bears to the subject of which it happens on the particular 
occasion to be predicated." jf. S, Mill^ System of Logic , i. 133. 



ON THE SPIRIT. 



27 



either exalt the value of what is cheap, or 
destroy the dignity of what is valuable? 
Therefore, again, you will number gold 
under precious stones, and such precious 
stones as are smaller and without lustre 
under those which are larger and brighter 
in colour. But what will not be said by men 
who spend their time in nothing else but 
either ^ to tell or to hear some new thing' ? * 
Let these supporters of impiety be classed 
ibr the future with Stoics and Epicureans. 
Whatsubnumerationis even possible of things 
less valuable in relation to things very 
valuable? How is a brass obol to be num- 
bered under a golden stater? ''Because," 
they reply, " we do not speak of possessing 
two coins, but one and one." But which of 
these is subnumeiated to the other? Each 
is similarly mentioned. If then you num- 
ber each by itself, you cause an equality of 
value by numbering them in the same way; 
but, if you join them, }ou make their value 
one by numbering them one with the other. 
But if the subnumeration belongs to the one 
which is numbered second, then it is in the 
power of the counter to begin by counting 
the brass coin. Let us, however, pass over 
the confutation of their ignorance, and turn 
our argument to the main topic. 

43. Do you maintain that the Son is 
numbered under the Father, and the Spirit 
under the Son, or do you confine your sub- 
numeration to the Spirit alone? If, on the 
other hand, you apply this subnumeration 
also to the Son, you revive what is the 
same impious doctrine, the unlikeness of 
the substance, the lowliness of rank, the 
coming into being in later time, and once for 
all, by this one term, you will plainly again 
set circling all the blasphemies against 
the Only-begotten. To controvert these blas- 
phemies would be a longer task than my 
present purpose admits of; and I am the less 
bound to undertake it because the impiety 
has been refuted elsew^here to the best of my 
ability.^ If on the other hand they suppose 
tlie subnumeration to benefit the Spirit alone, 
they must be taught that the Spirit is spoken 
of together with the Lord in precisely the 
same manner in which the Son is spoken of 
with the Father. " The name of the Father 
and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost "^ is 
delivered in like manner, and, according to 
the co-ordination of words delivered in bap- 
tism, the relation of the Spirit to the Son is 
the same as that of the Son to the Father. 
And if the Spirit is co-ordinate with the 



1 Acts xvii. 21. 

2 / <*., in the second book of his work against Eunomiug, 
2 Matt, xxviii. ly. 



Son, and the Son with the Father, it is obvi- 
ous that the Spirit is also co-ordinate with the 
Father. When then the names are ranked 
in one and the same co-ordinate series,' what 
room is there for speaking on the one hand 
of connumeration, and on the other of sub- 
numeration? Nay, without exception, what 
thing ever lost its own nature by being num- 
bered ? Is it not the fact that things when 
numbered remain what they naturally and 
originally were, while number is adopted 
among us as a sign indicative of the plu- 
rality of subjects? For some bodies we 
count, some we measure, and some we 
weigh ; ^ those which are by nature continu- 
ous we apprehend by measure ; to tliose 
which are divided we apply number(with the 
exception of those which on account of their 
fineness are measured) ; while heavy objects 
are distinguished by the inclination of 
the balance. It does not however follow 
that, because we have invented for our con- 
venience symbols to help us to arrive at the 
knowledge of quantitv, we have therefore 
changed the nature of the things signified. 
We do not speak of ''weighing under" one 
another things which are weighed, even 
though one be gold and the other tin ; nor 
yet do we "measure under" things that are 
measured ; and so in the same way we will not 
"number under" things which are num- 
bered. And if none of the rest of things 
admits of subnumeration how can they al- 
lege that the Spirit ought to be subnumer- 
ated? Labouring as they do under heathen 
unsoundness, they imagine that things which 
are Inferior, cither by grade of rank or sub- 
jection of substance, ought to be subnumer- 
ated. 

CHAPTER XVIII. 

In what manne)' in the confession of the tliree 
hypostases we presence tJie pious dogma of 
tJie Monarchia. Wherein also is the re- 
futation of them that allege that the Spirit 
is subnume7'ated? 



44. 



In delivering the formula of the Fa- 



1 ouoTotx a, a series of similar things, as in Ari-^t. An. Pr. 
ii. 21, 2. In the Pythng-oreun philosophr, a co-ordinate or 
parallel series. Arist. Met. i. 5, 0, and Eth. Nic. i. 6, 7. 

2 cf. Wis. xi. 20. •' Thou hast ordered all things in meas- 
ure and number and weiyht." 

3 The term Movap;^ia first acquired importance in patristic 
literature in Justin's work De vio7iarchia, against Polytheism. 
Of the lost letter of Irenrcus to the Roman Presbyter JFlorinus, 
who was deposed for heresy, presumably gnostic, the title, ac- 
cording to Eusebius (//. E. v. 20), was Trepl Mocap^fav, ^ -mpX 
■VOX) fjLYi eti'ai Toc 0ehv TroirjTrjv KaKiof, Later it came to be used 
to express not the Divine unity as opposed to Polytheism or 
Oriental Dualism, but the Divine unity as opposed to Trithe- 
ism. Vide the words of Dionysius of Rome, as quoted by 
Athan. De Decretis^ § 26, " Next let me turn to those who cut 
in pieces, divide, and destroy that most sacred doctrine of the 
church of God, the divine Monarchy, making it, as it were, 
three powers and divided subsistences -^nd three godheads." 
So bt. Basil Cont. Eunom, ii. 'Ap;^ij (j.kv ovv narphs ou5e/xt'a. 



28 



BASIL 



tlicr, the Son, and the Holy Ghost,' our Lord 
did not connect tlie gift with number. He did 
not say *' into First, Second, and Third," '^ 
nor yet '' into one, two, and three, but He gave 
us the boon of the knowledgeof the faith which 
leads to salvation, by means of holy names. 
So that what saves us is our faith. Number 
has been devised as a symbol indicative of the 
quantity of objects. But these men, who 
bring ruin on themselves from ever}^ possible 
source, have turned even the capacity for 
counting: agrainst the foith. Nothing else 
undergoes any change in consequence of 
the addition of number, and yet these men in 
the case of the divine nature pay reverence 
to number, lest they should exceed the limits 
of the honour due to the Paraclete. But, O 
wisest sirs, let the unapproachable be alto- 
gether above and beyond number, as the 
ancient reverence of the Hebrews wrote the 
imutterable name of God in peculiar charac- 
ters, thus endeavouring to set forth its infinite 
excellence. Count, if you must ; but you 
must not by counting do damage to the 
faith. Either let the ineffable be honoured 
by silence ; or let holy things be counted con- 
sistently with true religion. There is one 
God and Father, one Only-begotten, and 
one Holy Ghost. We proclaim each of 
the hypostases singly; and, when count we 
must, we do not let an ignorant arithmetic 
carry us away to the idea of a plurality of 
Gods. 

45. For we do not count by way of addi-- 
tlon, gradually making increase from unity 



dpx'? ^^ ■'■ow v'lov 6 naTijp. And in £!p. xxxviii. 'AAAa ti? etrTt 
8vvaixL<; ayevvriTU}^ /cat avap;(co; U(/)eo T^oaa t;tcs cstIp' atria rij? 
aTrdvTix>v Tcoi' bvTuiv atrias, €K yd.p toO Trarpb? 6 vlo^ 81* o5 rd 
■ndvTa. And in £p. cxxv. Ei'a yCip olSaixeu ayeuv-qrov Kal ixiav 
Ttoi/ ■ndvTiav dp)(r)v, r^v irarspa tov Kvpiov rifMUiu 'Ir^crov Xpiorov. 
On the doctrine and its exponents compare §72of theZ>^ Sp. S. 
On tlie other hand " Monarchians " was a name connotiiisa;- 
heresy when applied to those who pushed the doctrine of the 
Unity to an extreme, involving denial of a Trinity. Of these, 
among- the more noteworthy were Paul of Samosata, bp. of 
Antioch, who was deposed in 269, a representative of thinkers 
who have been called dynamical monarchians, and Praxeas 
(supposed by some to be a nickname), who tautrht at Rome in 
the reign of Marcus Aurelius, and of whom Tertullian, the 
originator of the term palripassians, as applied to Monarchians, 
wrote ** Paracletiim ftigavit et patrem crucifix it.'''' This 
heretical Monarcliianism culminnted in Sabellius, the " most 
orisfinal, ingenious, and profound of the Monarchians," 
Schaff. Hist. Chr. Church, i.293. cf. Gisseler, i. p. 127, Har- 
nack's Monarchianismiis in Herzog's Real Encvclopcedie, Vol. 
X. Thomasius Dog, Gesch. i. p. 179, and Fialon Et. Hist. 
p. 241. 

1 Matt, xxviii. 19. 

2 Mr. C. F. H. Johnston quotes as instances of the applica- 
tion of the word "third" to the Holy Ghost; Justin Martyr 
{Apnl. i. i^) '« We honour the Spirit of prophecy in the third 
rank." Tertullian (/« Prax. 8) " As the fruit from the tree is 
third from the root, and the rivulet from the river third irom 
thi source, and the flame from the ray third from the sun." 
Eunomius {Lib. Apol. § 25) " observing tlie teaching of Saints, 
we have learned from tliem that the Holv Spirit is third 
in dijfnity and order, and so have believed him to be third in 
nature also." On the last St. Basil {Adv. Eunom. ii.) rejoins 
" Perhaps the word of piety allows Him to come in rank 
second to the Son . . . althousrh He is inferior to the Son 
in rank and dignity (that we may make the utmost possible 
concession) it docs not reasonably follow thence that Jie is of 
a different nature." On the word *' perhaps " a dispute arose 
at the Council of Florence, the Latins denying its genuineness. 



to multitude, and saying one, two, and three, 
— nor yet first, second, and third. For 
"I," God, "am the first, and I am the 
last." ^ And hitherto we have never, even 
at the present time, heard of a second God. 
Worshipping as we do God of God, we 
both confess the distinction of the Persons, 
and at the same time abide by the Monarchy. 
We do not fritter away the theology ^ in a 
divided plurality, because one Form, so to 
say, united'' in the invririableness of the God,- 
head, is beheld in God the Father, and in 
God the Only begotten. For the Son is in 
the Father and the Father in the Son ; since 
such as is the latter, such is the former, 
and such as is the former, such is the lat- 
ter ; and herein is the Unity. So that accord- 
ing to the distinction of Persons, both are one 
and one, and according to the community of 
Nature, one. How, then, if one and one, 
are there not two Gods.^ Because we speak 
of a king, and of the king's image, and not 
of two kings. The majesty is not cloven in 
two, nor the glory divided. The sov- 
ereignty and authority over us is one, and so 
the doxology ascribed by us is not plural 
but one ; * because the honour paid to the 
image passes on to the prototype. Now 
what in the one case the image is by reason 
of imitation, tliat in the other case the Son is 
by nature ; and as in works of art the likeness 
is dependent on the form, so in the case or 
the divine and uncompounded nature the 
union consists in the communion of the God- 
head.^ One, moreover, is the Holy Spirit, 
and we speak of Him singly, conjoined as 
He is to the one Father through the one Son, 
and through Himself completing the ador- 
able and blessed Trinity. Of Him the 
intimate relationship to the Father and the 
Son is sufficiently declared by the fact of His 
not being ranked in the plurality of the crea- 
tion, but being spoken of singly ; for he is 
not one of many, but One. For as there is 
one Father and one Son, so is there one 
Holy Ghost. He is consequently as far 
removed from created Nature as reason 
requires the singular to be removed from 
compound and plural bodies ; and He is in 
such wise united to the Father and to the 
Son as unit has affinity w^ith unit. 



1 Is. xliv. 6. 

2 According to patristic usage OeoXoyia proper is concerned 
with all that relates to the Divine and Eternal nature of our 
Lord. cf. Bp. Liijhtfoot. Ap. Fathers, Part IL vol. ii. p. 75. 

3 ei'i^o/xei'Tji'. Var. lectiones are epLi^ofjLivqv, " seated in," and 
eveiKOftC'oiaeVrjv, " imaged in." 

^ c/. the embolismus, or intercalated prayer in the Liturgy 
of St. yames, as cited by Mr. C. F. II. Johnston. " For of thee 
is the kingdom and the power and the glory, of Father, of Son, 
and of Holy Ghost, now and ever." 

5 On the right use of the illustration of eiKciv, cf. Basil Ep. 
xxxviii., and Bp. Lightfoot's note on Col. i. 15. cf. also John 
i. iS and xiv. 9, 10. 



Mmm 



ON THE SPIRIT. 



29 



46. And it is not from this source alone 
that our proofs of the natural communion 
are derived, but from the fact that He is 
moreover said to be " of God ; " ' not indeed 
in the sense in which " all things are of 
God," ^ but in the sense of proceeding out of 
God, not by generation, like the Son, but as 
Breath of His mouth. But in no way is the 
''mouth" a member, nor the Spirit breath 
that is dissolved ; but the word '^ mouth " 
is used so far as it can be appropriate to 
God, and the Spirit is a Substance having 
life, gifted with supreme power of sanctifica- 
tion. Thus the close relation is made plain, 
while the mode of the ineffable existence is 
safeguarded. He is moreover styled ' Spirit 
of Christ,' as being by nature closely related 
to Him. Wherefore " If any man have not 
the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His." ^ 
Hence He alone worthily glorifies the Lord, 
for, it is said, "He shall glorify me,""* not 
as the creature, but as "Spirit of truth," ° 
clearly shewing forth the truth in Himself, 
and, as Spirit of wisdom, in His own great- 
ness revealing " Christ the l^ower of God 
and the wisdom of God " ^ And as Para- 
clete' He expresses in Himself the goodness 
of the Paraclete who sent Him, and in His 
own dignity manifests the majesty of Him 
from whom He proceeded. There is then 
on the one hand a natural glory, as light is 
the glory of the sun ; and on the other a 



1 2 Cor. i. 12. 

2 I Cor. xi. 12. George of T^aodicea applied this passage to 
the Son, and wrote to the Arians : " Why complain of Pope 
Alexander (i.e. of Alexandria) for saying that the Son is 
from the Father. . . . For if the apostle wrote All things 
are from God . . . He rnay be said to be from God in tiiat 
sense in which all things are from God." Athan., De Syrt. 17. 

3 Rom. viii, 9. c John xiv. 17. 
* John xvi. 14. 6 I Cor. i. 24. 

' irapaicArjro? occurs five times in the N.T., and is rendered 
in A.V. in John xiv. 16 and 26, xv. 26 and xvi. 7, Comforter; 
in I John ii. i, Advocate, as applied to the Son. In tlie text 
the Son, the Paraclete, is described as sending the Spirit, the 
Paraclete; in the second clause of the sentence it can hardly be 
po'^itively determined whether the words tou oO^v nporiXOeu 
refer to the Father or to the Son. The former view is adopted 
by Mr. C. F. H.Johnston, the latter by the editor of Keble's 
Stadia Sac fa, p. 176. The sequence of the sentences in John 
XV. 25 might lead one to regard c^ei' 7rporjA9ei/ as equivalent to 
Traaa tjl) llarpi? e/ciropeuerai. On the other hand, St. Basil's 
avoidance of direct citation of the verb e/cTropeuerai, his close 
connexi )n of tov aTTotrretAai^ro? with oBtv nporjKOev, and the 
close of the verse in St. John's gospel exe'vo? ixaprvpria-ei irepl 
e/xoJ, sag.^est that the ueYaAcocrui'rj in St. Basil's mind may be 
the fj.eya\o(T6i>r) of the Son, At the same time, while the 
Western Church was in the main unanimous as to the double 
procession, this passage from St. Basil is not quoted as an 
exception to the general current of the teaching of the Greek 
Fathers, who, as Bp. Pearson expresses it, " stuck more closely 
to the phrase and language of the Scriptures, saying that the 
spirit proceedeth from the Father." (Pearson On the Creed, 
Art. viii. where -vide quotations ) Vide also Thomasius, 
Christ. Doo-in., i. 270, Namentlich auf letzere Bestimviting 
leo'ten die griechischen V'dter groszes Gewicht. Ivi Gegensatz 
gegen den macedonischen Irrtiim, der den Geist fur ein 
Geschilpf de<; Sohnes ansah, f'dhrte man die Subsistenz des- 
selben ebenso auf den Vater zurnck wie die des Sohnes. Man 
lehrle, also, der heilige Geist geht vom Vater aus, der Vater 
ist die a^xYj wie des Sohiies so auch des Geistes; aber mit der 
dent herkommlichen Ziis^e des Dogma entsprechenden JS'dher- 
bestimmung: nicht cLixeauj^, sondern e/u.ju,e'a-(u?, interveniu flii 
geht der Geist vom Vater ans. also " durch den Sohn vom 
Vater. ^^ So die bedeiitendsten Kirchenlehrer, w'dhrend andere 
einfach bet der Formel stehen blieben; er gehe vom Vater aus. I 



glory bestowed judicially and of free will 
' ab extra ' on them that are worthy. The 
latter is twofold. " A son," it is said, 
" honoureth his father, and a servant his 
master." * Of these two the one, the servile, 
is given by the creature ; the other, which 
may be called the intimate, is fulfilled by the 
Spirit. For, as our Lord said of Himself, 
" I have glorified Thee on the earth : I have 
finished the work which thou gavest me to 
do;"^ so of the Paraclete He ^ays '•'He 
shall glorify me : for He shall receive of 
mine, and shall show it unto you.'*^ And 
as the Son is glorified of the Father when He 
says " I have both glorified it and will glo- 
rify it ^ again," "* so is the Spirit glorified 
through His communion with both Father 
and Son, and through the testimony of the 
Only-begotten when He says *' All manner 
of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto 
men : but the blasphemy against the Holy 
Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men." ^ 

47. And when, by means of the power 
that enlightens us, we fix our eyes on the 
beauty of the image of the invisible God, 
and through the image are led up to the 
supreme beauty of the spectacle of the 
archetype, then, I ween, is with us in- 
separably the Spirit of knowledge, in Him- 
self bestowing on them that love the vision 
of the truth the power of beholding the Image, 
not making the exhibition from without, but 
in Himself leading;' on to the full knowledo"e. 
'' No man knoweth the Father save the 
Son." ' And so *' no man can say that Jesus 
is the Lord but by the Holy Ghost." ^ For 
it is not said through the Spirit, but 
by the Spirit, and " God is a spirit, and 
they that worship Him must worship Him in 
spirit and in truth," ^ as it is written " in thy 
light shall we see light," ^° namely by tiie 
illumination of the Spirit, *' the true light 
which lighteth every man that cometh into 
the world." ^' It results that in Himself He 
shows the glory of the Only begotten, and 
on true worshippers He in Himself bestows 
the knowledsre of God. Thus the wav of 
the knowledge of God lies from One Spirit 
through the One Son to the One Father, and 
conversely the natural Goodness and the in- 
herent Holiness and the royal Dignity extend 
from the Father through the Only-begotten 
to the Spirit. Thus there is both acknow- 
ledgment of the hypostases and the true 



1 Mai. i. 6. 2johnxvii.4. 3Johnxvi.i4. 

4 Four MSS. of the De S.S. read eSo^acra o-e, a variation not 
appearing in MSS. of the Gospel. 
f> John xii. 28. « Matt. xii. 31 . 

7 Matt. xi. 27, '* ov5el? ol6e toj/ -iraTepa el jutrj 6 Yid<: " substi- 
tuted for ** ov de Tov irarepa r'ts en-iyfoicT'cet el jutj 6 Ytoi." 

8 I Cor. xii. 3. ^^ Ps. xxxvi. g, 
^ John iv. 34. 11 John i. 9. 



30 



BASIL 



dogma of the Monarchy is not lost.' They 
on the other hand who support their sub- 
numeration by talkiii<^ of first and second 
and third ouo^ht to be informed that into the 
undefiled theology of Christians they are 
importing tlie polytheism of heathen error. 
No other result can be achieved by the fell 
device of subnumeration than the confession 
of a first, a second, and a third God. For us 
is sufficient the order prescribed by the Lord. 
He who confuses this order will be no less 
guilty of transgressing the law than are the 
impious heathen. 

Enough has been now said to prove, in 
contravention of their error, that the com- 
munion of Nature is in no wise dissolved by 
the manner of subnimieration. Let us, how- 
ever, make a concession to our contentious 
and feeble minded adversary, and grant that 
what is second to anything is spoken of in 
subnumeration to it. Now let us see what 
follows. " The first man " it is said " is of the 
earth earthy, the second man is the Lord 
from heaven."^ Again*' that was not first 
which is spiritual but that which is natural 
and afterward that which is spiritual." ^ If 
then the second is subnumerated to the first, 
and the subnumerated is inferior in dignity 
to that to which it w^as subnumerated, ac- 
cording to you the spiritual is inferior in 
honour to the natural, and the heavenly man 
to the earthy. 

CPIAPTER XIX. 

Against those who assert that the Spirit ought 
not to be glorified. 

48. *' Be it so," it is rejoined, " but 
glory is by no means so absolutely due to 
the Spirit as to require His exaltation by us 
in doxologies." Whence then could we get 
our demonstrations of the dignity of the 
sSpirit, "passing all understanding,"'* if 
His communion with the Father and the 
Son were not reckoned by our opponents as 
good for testimony of His rank? It is, at all 
events, possible for us to arrive to a certain 
extent at intelligent apprehension of the 
sublimity of His nature and of His unap- 
proachable power, by looking at the mean- 

"^cf. note on p. 27 nnd the distinction between loyua. and 
K>7oiiyua in § 66. "The i^reat objection which the Eastern 
Church makes to the Filioquc, is, that it implies the existence 
of two (iox'it in the godhead; and if we believe in fiuo ai/apxoi ; 
we, in effect, believe in two Gods. The unity of the Godhead 
can only be maintained by acknowledging the Father to be 
the sole 'Aov>i or TTT/yr? 0£ott/to9, who from all eternity has com- 
municated His own Godhead to His co-eternal and consubstan- 
tial Son and Spirit. This reasoning is generally true. But, as 
the doctrine of the Procession of the Spirit from the Father and 
the Son presupposes the eternal generation of the Scm from the 
Father; it does not follow, that tliat doctrine impugns the 
Catholic belief in the Mi'a 'Apx»)-" Bp. Harold Browne, Exp. 
XXX ix Art., Note on Art v. 

^ I Cor. XV. 47. 8 1 Cor. xv. 46. < Phil. iv. 7. 



ing of His title, and at the magnitude of His 
operations, and by His good gifts bestowed 
on us or rather on all creation. He is 
called Spirit, as " God is a Spirit," * and 
'' the breath of our nostrils, the anointed of 
the Lord." ^ He is called holy,^ as the 
Father is holy, and the Son is holy, for to the 
creature holiness w^as brought in from with- 
out, but to the Spirit holiness is the fulfil- 
ment of nature, and it is for this reason that 
He is described not as being sanctified, but 
as sanctifying. He is called good,^ as the 
Father is good, and He who was begotten of 
the Good is good, and to the Spirit Flis 
goodness is essence. He is called upright,^ 
as "the Lord is upright," ^ in that He is 
Himself truth,' and is Himself Righteous- 
ness,^ havincr no diverg^ence nor leaninsf to 
one side or to the other, on account of the 
immutability of His substance. He is called 
Paraclete, like the Only begotten, as He Him- 
self says, " I will ask the Father, and He will 
give you another comforter." ^ Thus names 
are borne by the Spirit in common with the 
Father and the Son, and He gets these titles 
from His natural and close relationship. 
From what other source could they be 
derived.^ Again He is called royal, '° Spirit 
of truth, ^* and Spirit of wisdom.'^ ''The 
Spirit of God," it is said " hath made me," '^ 
and God fiilled Bezaleel with "the divine 
Spirit of wisdom and understanding and 
knowledge." '^ Such names as these are su- 
per-eminent and mighty, but they do not 
transcend His glor3^ 

49. And His operations, what are they.^ 
For majesty ineffable, and for numbers in- 
numerable. How shall we form a concep- 
tion of what extends beyond the ages.^ 
What were His operations before that crea- 
tion whereof we can conceive ? How great 
the grace which He conferred on creation } 
What the power exercised by Him over the 
ages to come.? He existed ; He pre-existed ; 
He co-existed with the Father and the Son 
before the ages. It follows that, even if you 
can conceive of anything beyond the ages, 
you will find the Spirit yet further above 
and beyond. And if you think of the crea- 
tion, the powers of the heavens were estab- 



1 John iv, 24. 

2"Lam. iv. 20. Sic in A.V. and R.V., the reference being 
to Zedekiali. cf. Jer. xxxix. 5. The Vulgate reads, '■^ Spirittis 
oris iiosiri CJiristus Dominies " from the Greek of the LXX. 
quoted by St, Basil, " llvtvy^a. npo<rii)Trov iifxinv xpi.aTO'i Kvpia.'" 

3 I John i. 20. '' Ps. li. 10. 

4 Ps. cxliii. 10. *> Ps. xcii. 15. 

^ John xiv. 17; XV. 26; xvi. 13; 1 John v. 6. 

82 Cor. iii. 8, 9. 

•'John xiv. 16, TTapa/fXrjTOV. cf. Note on p. 29. 
1" Ps. li. 12, Ixx. TTViVfxa r,yeixovLK6y. Vulg. spiritus princi- 
palis. 

'' John XV. 26, etc. '3 Job xxxiii. 4. 

i-Is.xi. 2. 1* Ex. xxxi. 3, LXX. 



ON THE SPIRIT. 



31 



lished by the Spirit/ the establishment being 
understood to refer to disability to fall away 
from gootl. For it is from the Spirit that 
the powers derive their close relationship to 
God, their inability to change to evil, and 
their continuance in blessedness. Is it 
Christ's advent? The Spirit is forerunner. 
Is there the incarnate presence.^ The Spirit 
is inseparable. Working of miracles, and 
gifts of healing are through the Holy Spirit. 
Demons were driven out by the Spirit of 
God. The devil was brought to naught by 
t!ie presence of the Spirit. Remission of sins 
was by the gift of the Spirit, for '*ye were 
washed, ye were sanctified, ... in 
the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and in 
the holy Spirit of our God." ^ There is close 
relationship with God through the Spirit, for 
*' God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son 
into }our hearts, crying Abba, Father."^ 
The resurrection from the dead Is effected by 
the 0[)eration of the Spirit, for ''• Thou send- 
est forth thy spirit, they are created ; and 
Thou renew est the face of the earth." '* If 
here creation may be taken to mean the 
bringing of the departed to life again, how 
mighty Is not the operation of the Spirit, 
Who is to us tlie dispenser of the life that 
follows on the resurrection, and attunes our 
souls to the spiritual life beyond? Or if here 
by creation is meant the change to a better 
condition of those who in this life have 
fallen into sin, (for It is so understood ac- 
cording to the usage of Scripture, as in the 
words of Paul '* if any man be In Christ he 
is a new creature"^), the renewal which 
takes place in this life, and the transmutation 
from oin* earthly and sensuous life to the 
heavenly conversation which takes place In 
us through the Spirit, then our souls are 
exalted to the highest pitch of admiration. 
With these thoughts before us are we to be 
afraid of going beyond due bounds in the 
extravagance of the honour we pay? Shall 
we not rather fear lest, even though we 
seem to give Him the highest names which 
the thouofhts of man can conceive or man's 
tongue utter, we let our thoughts about Plim 
fall too low ? 

It is the Spirit which says, as the Lord 
says, '' Get thee down, and go with them, 
doubting nothing: for I have sent them."® 
Are these the words of an inferior, or of one 
in dread? '' Separate me Barnabas and 
Saul for the work whereunto I have called 
them."' Does a slave speak thus? And 
Isaiah, " The Lord God and His Spirit hath 



1 cf. Ps. xxxiii. 6. 

2 1 Cor. vi. II R.V. 

3 Gal. iv. 6. 
* Ps. civ. 30. 



fi 2 Cor. V. 17. 
•i Acts X. 20. 
7 Acts xiii. 2. 



sent me," ^ and " the Spirit came down from 
the Lord and guided them." ^ And pray do 
not again understand by this guidance some 
humble service, for the Word witnesses 
that it was the work of God; — ''Thou 
leddest thy people," it is said " like a 
flock," ^ and " Thou that leadest Joseph 
like a flock," * and " He led them on safely, 
so that they feared not." * Thus when you 
hear that when the Comforter is come, He 
will put you in remembrance, and '"guide 
you into all truth." ^ do not misrepresent 
the meaning. 

50. But, it is said that " Pie maketh 
intercession for us." ' It follows then that, 
as the suppliant is inferior to the benefactor, 
so far is the Spirit inferior in dignity to God. 
But have you never heard concerning the 
Only-begotten that Pie '' is at the right hand 
of God, who also maketh Intercession for 
us"?^ Do not, then, because the Spirit is 
In you, — if Indeed He is at all in you, — 
nor yet because He teaches us who were 
blinded, and guides us to the choice of what 
profits us, — do not for this reason allow your- 
self to be deprived of the right and holy 
opinion concerning Him. For to make the 
loving kindness of your benefactor a ground 
of ingratitude were indeed a very extrava- 
gance of unfairness. " Grieve not the Holy 
Spirit;"^ hear the words of Stephen, the 
first fruits of the martyrs, when he reproaches 
the people for their rebellioa and disobedi- 
ence ; " you do always," he says, " resist the 
Ploly Ghost; " ^^ and again Isaiah, — " They 
vexed His Ploly Spirit, therefore He was 
turned to be their enemy ; " ** and in another 
passage, "the house of Jacob angered the 
SjDirit of the Lord." ^^ Are not these pas- 



1 Isa. xlviii. 16. Mr. C. F. John?;ton remarks: " In Isaiah 
xlviii. 16 St. Didymus, as translated by St. Jerome, fj;ives 
Spirilum suum. The Targ-um has the same. St. Ambrose 
writes : ' ^iiis est qui dicit; misi't me Domiviis Deux et 
Spiritus Ejus; iiisi ^ni veil it a Patre. tit salvos facer et perca- 
toresf ^ueiit ut audis, et Spirtttes misit; ne cum legis quia 
Filius Spirituin in it tit, inferior is esse Spiritum crederes 
potestatis,' (/><? Sp. S. iii. 1, § 7.) The passage is quoted by St. 
Athanasius, St. Basil, St. Cyril Ilieros., and, as far as the 
editor is aware, without anv comment which would help to 
determine their way of understanding the case of j'o Tri'eu/xa; 
but Origen, on the words ' Whosoever shall humble himself as 
this little child' {Comm. m Evang ., Matt. xiii. iS) says. — 
quoting the original, which mav be rendered, " ' humbling 
himself as this little child is imitating the Holy Spirit, who 
humbled Himself for men's salvation. That the Saviour and 
the Holy Ghost were sent by the Father for the salvalicm of 
men is made plain by Isaiah saying, in the pei'son of the 
Saviour, *the Lord sent me, and His Spirit.' It must be 
observed, however, that the phrase is ambiguous, for either 
God sent and the Holy Ghost also sent, the Saviour; or, as 
I understand, the Father sent both, the Saviour and the Holy 
Ghost.'" The Vulgate and Beza both render *' Spiritus^ 
The order of the Hebrew is in favour of the nominative, as in 
the Vulyate and Ixx. cf. Note A on Chap, xlviii. of Isaiah in 
the Speaker^s Counneiitary, 

2 Is. Ixii. 14, LXX. 8 Rom. viii. 34. 

3 Ps. Ixxvii. 20. '^ Eph. iv. 30. 
^rs.lxxx.i. 10 Acts vii. 51. 
BPs. Ixxviii. 53. 11 Is. Ixiii. 10. 

6 John xvi. 13. ' cf. xiv. 26. ^2 ps, cvi. 32; Micah ii. 7. 
7 'Rom. viii. 26; 27. 



32 



BASIL 



sages indicative of authoritative power? I 
leave it to the judgment of my readers to 
determine v^^hat opinions we ought to hold 
when we hear these passages; whether we 
are to regard the Spirit as an instrument, a 
subject, of equal rank with the creature, 
and a fellow servant of ourselves, or whether, 
on the contrary, to the ears of the pious the 
mere whisper of this blasphemy is not most 
grievous. Do you call the Spirit a servant? 
But, it is said, ''the servant knoweth not 
what his Lord doeth,*' ^ and yet the Spirit 
knoweth the things of God, as "the spirit 
of man that is in him." ^ 

CHAPTER XX. 

Against those who maintain that the Spirit 
is in the rank neither of a servant nor of a 
master, but in that of the free. 

51. He is not a slave, it is said; not a 
master, but free. Oh the terrible insensi- 
bility, the pitiable audacity, of them that 
maintain this ! Shall I rather lament in 
them their ignorance or their blasphemy? 
They try to insult the doctrines that con- 
cern the divine nature^ by comparing them 
with the human, and endeavour to apply 
to the ineffable nature of God that com- 
mon custom of human life whereby the 
difference of degrees is variable, not per- 
ceiving that among men no one is a slave by 
nature. For men arc cither brought under 
a yoke of slavery by conquest, as when pris- 
oners are taken in war ; or they are enslaved 
on account of poverty, as the Egyptians were 
oppressed by Pharaoh ; or, by a wise and 
mysterious dispensation, ihc worst children 
are by their fathers' order condemned to 
serve the wiser and the better ; ^ and this any 
righteous enquirer into the circumstances 
would declare to be not a sentence of con- 
demnation but a benefit. For it is more prof- 
itable that the man who, through lack of 
intelligence, has no natural principle of rule 
within himself, should become the chattel of 
another, to the end that, being guided by the 
reason of his master, he may be like a chariot 
with a charioteer, or a boat with a steersman 
seated at the tiller. For this reason Jacob by 
his father's blessing became lord of Esau,^ 
in order that the foolish son, who had not 
intelligence, his proper guardian, might, 
even though he wished It not, be benefited 
by his prudent brother. So Canaan shall be 
'' a servant unto his brethren " ^ because, 
since his father Ham was unwise, he was 

ijohnxv. 15. 2,Cor. ii. II. 

* tA TT)- 'JfoAo^'a? hoy^i-o-Tx, cf. note on § 66. 

<^ cf. Gen. ix. 25. 5 Gen, xxvii. 29. '^ Gen. ix. 25. 



unlnstructed in virtue. In this world, then, 
it is thus that men are made slaves, but they 
who have escaped poverty or war, or do not 
require the tutelage of others, are free. It 
follows that even though one man be called 
master and another servant, nevertheless, 
both in view of our mutual equality of rank 
and as chattels of our Creator, we are all 
fellow slaves. But in that other world what 
can you bring out of bondage? For no 
sooner were they created than bondage was 
commenced. The heavenly bodies exercise no 
rule over one another, for they are unmoved 
by ambition, but all bow down to God, and 
render to Him alike the awe which is due to 
Him as Master and the glory which falls to 
Him as Creator. For " a son honoureth his 
father and a servant his master," ' and from 
all God asks one of these two things ; for 
" if I then be a Father where is my honour? 
and if I be a Master where is my fear? "^ 
Otherwise the life of all men. If it were not 
under the oversight of a master, would be 
most pitiable; as is the condition of the 
apostate powers who, because they stiffen 
their neck against God Almighty, fling oiT 
the reins of their bondage, — not that their 
natural constitution is diflerent, but the cause 
is in their disobedient disposition to their 
Creator. Whom then do you call free? 
Him who has no King? Him who lias 
neither power to rule another nor willingness 
to be ruled ? Among all existent beings no 
such nature is to be found. To entertain 
such a conception of the Spirit is obvious 
blasphemy. If He is a creature of course He 
serves with all the rest, for " all things," It Is 
said '' are thy servants," ^ but if He is above 
Creation, then He shares in royalty.* 

iMal.i. 6. 2 Mai. i. 6. sps.cxix. 91. 

* St. Basil's view of slavery is that («) as regards our rela- 
tion to God, all created beings are naturally in a condition of 
subservience to the Creator; (^) as regards our relationship t > 
one another, slavery is not of nature, but of convention and 
circumstance. How far he is here at variance with the well 
known account of slavery given by Aristotle in the first Book 
of the Politics will depend upon the interpretation we put upon 
the word " nature." " Is there," asks Aristotle, " any one in- 
tended by nature to be a slave, and lor whom such a condition 
is expedient and right, or rather is not all slavery a violation 
of nature? There is no difficulty in answering this question, 
on grounds both of reason and fact. For that some should 
rule, and others be ruled, is a thing not only necessary, but ex- 
pedient; from the hour of their birth some are marked out for 
subjection, others for rule. . . , Where, then, there is such 
a difference as that between soul and body, or between men 
and animals (as in the case of those whose business it is to 
use their body, and who can do nothing better), the lower s^^rt 
are by nature slaves, and it is better for them, as for all inte- 
riors, that they should be under the rule of a master. . . . 
It is clear, then, that some men are by nature free and othcs 
slaves, and that for these latter slavery is both expedient and 
rit^ht." PoliticSy Bk. i. Sec. 5. Here by Nature seems to be 
meant something like Basil's "lack of intelligence," and of 
the TO Kara ^vaiv apxoi^, which makes it '• profitable " for one 
man to be the chattel of another (/cTij/aa is livestock, espe- 
cially maiicipiitm. cf, Shakspere's K. and Pet., " She is my 
goods, my chattels." *' Chattel" is a doublet of " cattle "K 
St. Basil and Aristotle are at one as to the advantage to the 
weak slave of his having a powerful protector; and this, no 
doubt, is the point of view from which slavery can be best 
apolegizcd for. 



ON THE SPIRIT. 



33 



CHAPTER XXI. 

Proof from Sc7'ipture that the Spirit is called 

Lord. 

52. But why get an unfair victory for 
our argument by fighting over these undigni- 
fied questions, when it is within our power 
to prove that the excellence of the glory is 
beyond dispute by adducing more lofty con- 
siderations.^ If, indeed, wc repeat what we 
have been taught by Scripture, every one of 
the Pneumatomachi will peradventure raise 
a loud and vehement outcry, stop their ears, 
pick up stones or anything els2 that conies 
to hand for a weapon, and charge against us. 
But our own security must not be regarded 
by us before the truth. We have learnt 
from the Apostle, '' the Lord direct your 
hearts into the love of God and into the 
patient waiting for Christ" ^foroitrtrihida- 
tlons. Who is the Lord that directs into the 
love of God and into the patient waiting for 
Christ for tribulations? Let those men an- 
swer us who are for making a slave of the 
Holy Spirit. For If the argument had been 
about God the Father, it would certainly 
have said, ' the Lord direct you into His own 
love,' or if about the Son, it would have 
added ' Into His own patience.' Let them 
then seek what other Person there is who is 



Christianity did indeed do much to better the condition of 
the slave by asserting- his spiritual freedom, but at first it did 
little more than emphasize the later philo-ophy of heathen- 
dom, ei cT'Jjfxa 6ov\ov, a\\' 6 i-oOs eAeu^epoj (Soph.,_/"^«^. incert. 
xxii.), and gave the highest meaning to surli thoughts as 
those expressed in the late Epigram of Damascius (c. 530) on 
a dead slave : 

Kai Tuj crw/aaTi vvv evfau e\eu9tpirjv. 

It thought less of a slave's servitude to fellow man than of 
the slavery of bond and free alike to evil. cf. Aug., De Civit. 
Dei. iv. cap. iii. •• Bonus eiicimsi serviat liber est : mollis 
auiem si rcgnat servus est: nee est tinius howitiis, sed qtiod 
gravins est tot dominorum guot vitioriim.''^ Chrysostom even 
explains St. Paul's non-condemnation of slavery on the ground 
that its existence, willi that of Christian liberty, was a greater 
moral triumph than its abolition. {In Genes. Serm. v. i.) 
Even so late as the sixth century the legislation of Justinian, 
though protective, supposed no natural liberty. " Expedit enim 
respiiblicce ne quis re siiA ittatur male.''^ Instil. \. viii. quoted 
by Milman, Lat. Christ, ii. 14. We must not therefore be sur- 
prised at nut finding in a Father of the fourth century an anti- 
cipation of a later develojiment of Christian sentiment. At the 
same time it was in the age of St. Basil that *' the languas^e of 
the Fathers assumes a bolder tone" (r/. Did. Christ. Ant, '\\. 
1905), and "ill the correspondence of Gregory Nazianzen we 
find him referring to a case where a slave had been made 
bishop over a small community in the desert. The Christian 
lady to \vhom he belonged endeavoured to assert her riglit of 
ownersliip, for which she was severely rebuked by St. l^asil. 
{cf. Letter CXV.) After St. Basil's death she again claimed 
the slave, whereupon Gregory a .dressed her a letter of grave 
remonstrance at her unchristian desire to recall his brother 
bishop from his sphere of dutv. Ep. 79," id. 

1 2 T.iess. ill. 5. A note of the l^enedicline Editors on this 
passage savs : *• It must be admitted that these words arc not 
lound in the sacred text and are wanting in three manuscripts 
of tills work. Moreover, in the Regius ^uintus tliey are only 
inserted by a second hand, but since they are shortly after- 
wards repeated by Basil, as though taken from the sacred 
context, I am unwilling to delete them, and it is more probable 
that they were withdrawn from the manuscripts from which 
they are wanting because they were not found in the apostle, 
than added, without any reason at all, to tlie manuscripts in 
which they occur." 



worthy to be honoured with the title of 
Lord. And parallel with this is that other 
passage, " and the Lord make you to in- 
crease and abound in love one toward another, 
and toward all men, even as we do towards 
you ; to the end He may establish your hearts 
unblamable in holiness before God, even our 
Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus 
Christ with all His saints." ^ Now what 
Lord does he entreat to stablish the hearts 
of the faithful at Thessalonica, unblamable 
in holiness before God even our Father, at 
the coming of our Lord .^ Let those answer 
who place the Holy Ghost among the minis- 
tering spirits that are sent forth on service. 
They cannot. Wherefore let them hear yet 
another testimony which distinctly calls the 
Spirit Lord. "The Lord," it is said, *' is 
that Spirit;" and again "even as from the 
Lord the Spirit." ^ But to leave no ground 
for objection, I will quote the actual words 
of the Apostle; — "For even unto this day 
remaineth the same veil untaken away in the 
reading of the Old Testament, which veil is 
done away in Christ. . . . Neverthe- 
less, when it shall turn to the Lord, the veil 
shall be taken away. Now the Lord Is that 
Spirit."^ Why does he speak thus.? Be- 
cause he who abides In the bare sense of the 
letter, and in it busies himself with the ob- 
servances of the Law, has, as It were, got his 
own heart enveloped in the Jewish accept- 
ance of the letter, like a veil ; and this be- 
falls him because of his Ignorance that the 
bodily observance of the Law Is done away 
by the presence of Christ, In that for the 
future the types are transferred to the reality. 
Lamps are made needless by the advent of 
the sun ; and, on the appearance of the truth, 
the occupation of the Law is gone, and 
prophecy is hushed into silence. He, on 
the contrary, who has been empowered to 
look down into the depth of the meaning of 
the Law, and, after passing through the ob- 
scurity of the letter, as through a veil, to 
arrive within things unspeakable. Is like 
Moses taking off the veil when he spoke 
with God. He, too, turns from the letter to 
the Spirit. So with the veil on the face of 
Moses corresponds the obscurity of the 
teaching of the Law, and spiritual con- 
templation with the turning to the Lord. 
He, then, who in the reading of the Law 
takes away the letter and turns to the 
Lord, — and the Lord Is now called th'j 



1 I Thess. iii. 12, 13. 

2 2 Cor. iii. 17, iS, R.V. In Adv. Eunom. iii. 3 St. Ba<=il 
had quoted v. 17 of the Son, making trvtvii.'x descriptive of our 
Lord. "This was written," adds Mr. C. F. H. Johnsto.i, 
" during St. Basil's prcsbyterate, at least ten years earlier." 

3 2 Cor. iii. 14, 16, 17. 



34 



BASIL 



Spirit, — becomes moreover like Moses, 
who had his face glorified by the manifesta- 
tion of God For just as objects which b'e 
near brilliant colours are themselves tinted 
by the brightness wdiich is shed around, so 
is he who fixes his gaze firmly on the Spirit 
by the Spirit's glory somehow transfigured 
into greater splendour, having his heart 
lighted up, as it were, by some light streaming 
from the truth of the Spirit.* And this is 
*' being changed from^ the glory" of the 
Spirit "into'' His own *' glory," not m 
niggard degree, nor dimly and indistinctly, 
but as w^e might expect any one to be who 
is enlightened by^ the Spirit. Do you not, 
O man, fear the Apostle when he says '' Ye 
are the temple of God, and the Spirit of God 
dwelleth in you"?^ Could he ever have 
brooked to honour with the title of " tem- 
ple" the quarters of a slave? How can he 
who calls Scripture '' God-inspired," ^ be- 
cause it was written through the inspiration 
of the Spirit, use the language of one who 
insults and belittles Him.'' 

CHAPTER XXn. 

Establishment of the natural communion of the 
Spirit from His beings equally with the 
Father and the Son, unappi^oachable in 
thought.^ 

53. Moreover the surpassing excellence 
of the nature of the Spirit is to be learned not 
only from His having the same title as the 
Father and the Son, and sharing in their 
operations, but also from His being, like 
the Father and the Son, unapproachable in 
thought. For what our Lord says of the 
Father as being above and beyond human 
conception, and what He says of the Son, 
this same language He uses also of the Holy 
Ghost. '' O righteous Father," He says, 
"the world hath not known Thee,"' mean- 
ing here by the world not the complex whole 
compounded of heaven and earth, but this 
life of ours subject to death, ^ and exposed to 
innumerable vicissitudes. And wdien dis- 
coursing of Himself He says, "Yet a little 
while and the world seeth me no more, but 

1 cf. 2 Cor. iii. iS. 

2 St. Biisil yives oltto the sense of " &y." So Theodoret, 
a^cum.jTheophylact, Hengel. c/. Alford /« /^c. The German 
is able to repeat the prep., as in Greek and I^atin, " -von einer 
Klarheit zu der andern, als vom Herrti." 



* I Cor. iii. 16. 



5 2 Tim. iii. 16. 



'' Trpb? 9e(Dp''av Svcre(f)LKroi'. The Benedictine Latin is " I'n- 
coinprehcnsi'bi/t's," but this is rather axaTaArjTTTos-. The " in- 
comprehensible" of the Ath. Creed is *' t'mmensus." 

'John xvii. 25. 

8 en-tJCTjoo?. The force of the word as applied to this life is 
illustrated by the 61 st Epigram of Callimachus : 

Ti? fei'os, S) vavrfye ; AeovTtxo? iuOdSe veKpov 
evpev in' atytaAot?, ^u>cre Si TcoSe Ti<|)oj 

SaKpvaas iniKy)pov €0v ^t'ov " ovB) yap avTb<; 
r)(TV\Q<;, al9vir]<; 6' Icra OaXacraonopeL. 



ye see me ; " * again in this passage, applying 
the word ivorld to those who being bound 
down by this material and carnal life, and 
beholding^ the truth by material sight alone, ^ 
were ordained, through their unbelief in the 
resurrection, to see our Lord no more with 
the eyes of the heart. And He said the 
same concerning the Spirit. "The Spirit 
of truth," He says, " w^hom the world cannot 
receive, because it seeth Him not, neither 
knoweth Him : but ye know Him, for He 
dwelleth with 3'ou."* For the carnal man, 
who has never trained his mind to contem- 
plation,^ but rather keeps it buried deep in 
the lust of the flesh, ^ as in mud, is powerless 
to look up to the spiritual light of the truth. 
And so the world, that is life enslaved by the 
afi^ections of the flesh, can no more receive 
the grace of the Spirit than a w^eak eye the 
light of a sunbeam. But the Lord, who by 
His teaching bore witness to purity of life, 
gives to His disciples the power of now both 
beholding and contemplating the Spirit. For 
"now," He says, "Ye are clean through 
the word which I have spoken unto you,"''^ 
w'herefore " the world cannot receive Him, 
because it seeth Him not, . . .but ye know 
Him ; for he dwelleth with you.'* ® And so 
says Isaiah ; — " He that spread forth the 
earth and that which cometh out of it ; he that 
giveth breath unto the people upon it, and 
Spirit to them that trample on it"^ ; for they 
that trample down earthly things and rise 
above them are borne witness to as worthy 
of the gift of the Holy Ghost. What then 
ousrht to be thousrht of Him whom the world 
cannot receive, and Whom saints alone can 
contemplate through pureness of heart .^ 
What kind of honours can be deemed ade- 
quate to Him? 

CHAPTER XXni. 

The glorifying of the Spirit is the eiiumeration 
of His attributes, 

54. ^^ Now of the rest of the Powers each 

1 John xiv. ig. 

- JTri/SAeiTot'Tas, the reading of the Viennese MS. vulgo 
lTmpi-novTa<; . 

^ \x6voi<i 6<j)9aXixo7<;. ^ J>)hn xiv. 17. 

•'' ayvfjLi'a<TTOv €x<ov tov voiv. cf. Heb. v, 14. 

^ Toi (fypof-qaaTL t^s crapKO?. cj . Rom. viii. 6 70 yUp <^p6vy];xa 
rJj? crap/co? Oa.vaTO';, 

^ John XV, 3. 8 John xiv. 17. 

" Is. xlii. 5, LXX. TraToOtriv avTr,!/. So St. Basil's argument 
requires us to translate the Ixx. The " walk therein " of A. V. 
would not bear out his meaning. For this use of TraTci/ cf. 
Soph., Ajif.J^^, ov yUp o"e3et?Tiua? y^Td? Oeiop iraTuiv. So in the 
vulgale we read •'<?/ spiritiim calcantibus earn.''' — calcare 
bearing the sense of " tiample on," as in Juvenal, Sat. x 86, 
" calce)itus Ccesaris hostem." The Hebrew bears no such 
meaning. 

1'' Here the Benedictine Editors beij^in Chapter xxiii., re. 
marking that they do so " cum plures AfSS. codices, turn 
I'psaiH sermovis sen'ein et cojitinuatwnem scciiti. Liquet 
enim hie Basilium ad aliiid ars^umentum transire.^' Another 



ON THE SPIRIT. 



35 



is believed to be in a qircnm scribed place. 
The angel who stood by Cornelius^ was not 
at one and the same moment with Philip ; ^ 
nor yet did the angel who spoke with Zacha- 
rias from the altar at the same time occupy 
his own post in heaven. But the Spirit is 
believed to have been operating at the same 
time in Habakkuk and in Daniel at Baby- 
lon,^ and to have been at the prison with 
Jeremiah,^ and with Ezekiel at the Chebar.^ 
For the Spirit of the Lord filleth the world, ^ 
and " whither shall I go from thy spirit? or 
whither shall I flee from thy presence?"' 
And, in the words of the Prophet, ''For I 
am with you, saith the Lord . . . and my 
spirit remaineth among you." ® But what 
nature is it becoming to assign to Him who is 
omnipresent, and exists together with God? 
The nature which is all-embracing, or one 
which is confined to particular places, like 
that which our argument shews the nature 
of angels to be? No one would so say. 
Shall we not then highly exalt Him who 
is in His nature divine, in Plis greatness infi- 
nite, in His operations powerful, in the bless- 
ings He confers, good? Shall we not give 
Him glory? And I understand glorv to 
mean nothing else than the enumeration of 
the wonders which are His own. It follows 
then that either we are forbidden by our an- 
tagonists even to mention tlie good things 
which flow to us from Him, or on the other 
hand that the mere recapitulation of His at- 
tributes is the fullest possible attribution of 
glory. For not even in the case of the God 
and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ and of 
the Only begotten Son, are we capable of giv- 
ing Them glory otherwise than by recounting, 
to the extent of our powers, all the wonders 
that belong to Them. 



CHAPTER XXIV. 

Proof of the absurdity of the refusal to glorify 
the Spirit, from the comparison of things 
glorified in creation, 

55. Furthermore man is " crowned with 
glory and honour,"* and " glory, honour and 
peace " are laid up by promise " to every 
man that worketh good." ^^ There is more- 
division of the text makes Chapter XXIII. begin with the 
words *' But I do not mean bv glory." 

1 Acts X. 3. 2 Acts viii. 26. ^ Bel and the Dragon, 34. 

* Jer. XX. 2, LXX. ei? rhv Karap^aKTW 6<; riv ev ttvAtj. Karap- 
pa/cTf)? Toiv TTvk'ov occurs in Dion. Halic. viii. 67, in the same 
sense as the Latin cataractd (I-ivy xxvii. 27) a portcullis. 
The Vulgate has in nerviint, which may either be ffyve or 
gaol. The Hebrew = stocks, as in A. V. and R.V. KaTjij!,pdKTri<; 
in the text of Basil and the Ixx. may be assumed to mean 
prison, from the notion of the barred grating over the door. 
cf. Ducange s.v. cataracta. 

^Ez. i.i. 7 ps. xxxix. 7. " Ps. viii. 5. 

« Wis. i. 7. 8 Hag. ii. 4, 5. i" Rom. ii. 10. 



over a special and peculiar glory for Isra- 
elites " to whom," it is said '• pertaiiieth the 
adoption and the glory . . and theser\ice," ' 
and the Psalmist speaks of a certain glory of 
his own, "that my glory may sing praise to 
Thee ^ ; " and again " Awake up my glory " ^ 
and according to the Apostle there is a certain 
glory of sun and moon and stars," and " the 
ministration of condemnation is glorious."^ 
While then so many things are glorified, do 
you wish the Spirit alone of all things to be 
un glorified? Yet the Apostle says " the 
ministration of the Spirit is glorious." ^ How 
then can He Himself be unworthy of glory? 
How according to the Psalmist can the 
glory of the just man be great' and accord- 
ing to you the glory of the Spirit none? 
How is there not a plain peril from such ar- 
o^uments of our brino^insr on ourselves the 
sin from which there is no escape ? If the 
man who is being saved by works of right- 
eousness glorifies even them that fear the 
Lord * much less would he deprive the 
Sj^irit of the glory which is His due. 

Grant, they say, that He is to be glorified, 
but not with the Father and the Son. But 
what reason is there in giving up the place 
appointed by the Lord for the Spirit, and in- 
venting some other? What reason is there 
for robbing of His share of glory Him Who 
is everywhere associated with the Godhead ; 
in the confession of the Faith, in the baptism 
of redemption, in the working of miracles, 
in the indwelling of the saints, in the graces 
bestowed on obedience? For there is not 
even one single gift which reaches creation 
without the Holy Ghost ; ^ when not even a 
single word can be spoken in defence of 
Christ e-xcept by them that are aided by the 
Spirit, as we have learnt in the Gospels 
from our Lord and Saviour. ^'^ And I know 
not whether any one who has been par- 
taker of the Holy Spirit will consent that we 
should overlook all this, forget His fellowship 
in all things, and tear the Spirit asunder 
from the Father and the. Son. Where then 
are w^e to take Him and rank Him? With 
the creature? Yet all the creature is in bond- 
age, but the vSpirit maketh free. "And 
where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is lib- 
erty." ^' Many arguments might be adduced 
to them that it is unseemly to coordinate the 
Holy Spirit with created nature, but for the 
present I will pass them by. Were I indeed 
to bring forward, in a manner befitting the 



' Rom. ix. 4. fi 2 Cor. iii. 9. 

2Ps.xxix.12. c 2 Cor. iii. 8. 

3Ps. Ivii. 8. 7 <-/•. Ps. xxi. 5. 

^ cf. 1 Cor. XV. 41. 8 c/. Ps. XV. 

^ cf. Matt, xxviii. ig; i Cor. xii. 11; Rom. viii. 11; i Pet. 



^0 Matt. X. 19, 20. 



" 2 Cor. iii. 17. 



36 



BASIL 



dignity of the discussion, all the proofs 
always available on our side, and so over- 
throw the objections of our opponents, a 
lengthy dissertation would be required, and 
my readers might be worn out by my pro- 
lixity. I therefore propose to reserve this 
matter for a special treatise,' and to apply 
myself to the points now more immediately 
before us. 

56. Let us then examine the points one 
by one. He is good by nature, in the same 
way as the Father is good, and the Son is 
good ; the creature on the other hand shares 
in goodness by choosing the good. He 
knows "The deep things of God ;" ^ the 
creature receives the manifestation of in- 
effable things through the Spirit. He 
quickens together with God, who produces 
and preserves all things alive, ^ and together 
with the Son, who gives life. " He that 
raised up Christ from the dead," it is said, 
'' shall also quicken your mortal bodies by 
the spirit that dwelleth in you ; " ^ and again 
'' '^^y sheep hear my voice, . . . and I 
give unto them eternal life;"'* but "the 
Spirit" also, it is said, " giveth life," ^ and 
again "the Spirit," It Is said, "is life, be- 
cause of righteousness." ' And the Lord 
bears witness that " it is the Spirit that 
quickeneth ; the flesh profiteth nothing." ^ 
How then shall we alienate the Spirit from 
His quickening power, and make Him be- 
long to lifeless nature? Who is so con- 
tentious, who Is so utterly without the 
heavenly gift,^ and unfed by God's good 
words, who is so devoid of part and lot In 
eternal hopes, as to sever the Spirit from the 
Godhead and rank Him with the creature? 

57. Now It Is urged that the Spirit is in us 
as a gift from God, and that the gift is not 
reverenced with the same honour as that 
which is attributed to the giver. The Spirit 
is a gift of God, but a gift of life, for the law of 
" the Spirit of life," It Is said, " hath made " 
us " free ; " ^^ and a gift of power, for " ye 
shall receive power after that the Holy 
Ghost is come upon you." '* Is He on this 
account to be lightly esteemed ? Did not God 
also bestow His Son as a free gift to mankind ? 



1 Mr. C. F. H. Johnston conjectures the allusion to be to 
Horn, xxiv. " Contra Sabellianos et Arhnn et Anomceos.^' 

2 I Cor. ii. 10, II. 

8 In I Tim. vi.13, St. Paul writes tou deov toO ^wottoioOi'to? 
TravT.x. In the text St. l?asil writes tSl navTa ^uioyovoiivTo^. 
The latter word is properly distinguished from the former as 
meanini^ not to make alive niter death, but to engender alive. 
In Luke xvii. 33, it is rendered in A.V. ' preserve." In Acts 
vii. 19, it is " to the end they might nntlive." On the meaning 
of ^ojoyoi'eip in the Ixx. and the Socinian arguments based on 
its use in Luke xvii. 33, cf. Pearson, On the Creed^ Art, V. 
note to p. 257 Ed. 1676. 

* Rom. viii. 11. 8 Jf^^in vi. 63. 

6 John x. 27-2S. » cf. Heb. vi. 4. 

6 2 Cor. iii. 6. J"^ Rom. viii. 2. 

^ Rom. viii. 10. i' Acts i. S. 



" He that spared not His own Son," it Is 
said, " but delivered Him up for us all, how 
shall He not with Him also freely give us 
all things?"^ And in another place, "that 
we might truly know the things that are 
freely given us of God," ^ in reference to the 
mystery of the Incarnation. It follows then 
that the malntainers of such arguments, in 
making the greatness of God's loving kind- 
ness an occasion of blasphemy, have really 
surpassed the Ingratitude of the Jews. 
They find fault with the Spirit because He 
gives us freedom to call God our Father. 
'' For God hath sent forth the Spirit of His 
Son into" our" hearts crying Abba, Father,"^ 
that the voice of the Spirit may become the 
very voice of them that have received him. 

CHAPTER XXV. 

That Scripticre uses the words " in " or 
" /^j," kv^ cf. note on p. j, in place of " withT 
Wherein also it is proved that the word 
" a7id'^ has the sajne force as '^ withy 

^S. It Is, however, asked by our oppo- 
nents, how it Is that Scripture nowhere 
describes the Spirit as glorified together 
with the Father and the Son, but carefully 
avoids the use of the exoression " with the 
Spirit," while it everywhere prefers to as- 
cribe glory " in Him " as being the fitter 
phrase. I should, for my own part, deny that 
the word in [or by] implies lower dig- 
nity than the word " with ; " I should main- 
tain on the contrary that, rightly understood, 
it leads us up to the highest possible mean- 
ing. This is the case where, as we have 
observed. It often stands instead of with; as 
for instance, " I will go into thy house in 
burnt offerings," ^ instead of with burnt offer- 
ings and "he brought them fortli also by 
silver and gold,"" that is to say with silver 
and gold and " thou goest not forth in our 
armies " ^ instead of with our armies, and 
Innumerable similar passages. In short I 
sliould very much like to learn from this new- 
fangled philosophy what kind of glory the 
Apostle ascribed by the word /;?, according to 
the interpretation which our opponents proffer 
as derived from Scripture, for I have nowhere 
found the formula " To Thee, O Father, 
be honour and glory, through Thy only 
begotten Son, by [or hi] the Holy Ghost," 
— a form wdilch to our opponents comes, so 
to say, as naturally as the air they breathe. 
You may indeed find each of these clauses 



1 Rom . viii. 32. 2 j, Cor. ii. 12. 3 Gal. iv. 6. 

4 Ps. Ixvi. 13. LXX. 

'' Ps. cv. 37. 6 Ps. xliv. 9. 



ON THE SPIRIT. 



37 



separately/ but they will nowhere be able to 
show them to us arrangediu this conjunction. 
If, then, they want exact conformity to what 
is written, let them give us exact references. 
If, on the other hand, they make conces- 
sion to custom, they must not make us an 
exception to such a privilege. 

59. As we find both expressions in use 
among the faithful, we use both; in the 
belief that full glory is equally given to 
the Spirit by both. The mouths, how- 
ever, of revilers of the truth may best be 
stopped by the preposition which, while it 
has the same meaning as that of the Scrip- 
tures, is not so wieldy a weapon for our 
opponents, (indeed it is now an object of 
their attack) and is used instead of the con- 
junction and. For to say " Paul and Sil- 
vanus and Timothy""^ is precisely the same 
thing as to say Paul with Timothy and Sil- 
vanus; for the connexion of the names is 
preserved by either mode of expression. 
The Lord says " The Father, the Son and 
the Holy Ghost." ^ If I say the Father and 
the Son with the Holy Ghost shall I make 
any difference in the sense .^ Of the connexion 
of names by means of the conjunction and 
the instances are many. We read '* The 
grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love 
of God and the fellowship of the Holy 
Ghost," ■* and again " I beseech you for the 
Lord Jesus Christ's sake, and for the 
love of the Spirit." ^ Now if we wish to use 
with instead oi and^ what difference shall we 
have made ? I do not see ; unless any one 
according to hard and fast grammatical rules 
might prefer the conjunction as copulative 
and making the union stronger, and reject the 
jDreposition as of inferior force. But if we 
had to defend ourselves on these points I do 
not suppose we should require a defence of 
many words. As it is, their argument is not 
about syllables nor yet about this or tbiat 
sound of a word, but about things differing 
most widely in power and in truth. It is for 
this reason that, w^hile the use of the syllables 
is really a matter of no importance whatever, 
our opponents are making the endeavour 
to authorise some syllables, and hunt out 
others from the Church. For my own part, 
althou2"h the usefulness of the word is ob- 
vious as soon as it is heard, I will nevertheless 
set forth the arguments which led our fathers 
to adopt the reasonable course of employing 
the preposition " w/V/^." ® It does indeed. 



1 In Eph. ii. iS they are combined, but no Scriptural dox- 
oloj^y uses kv of the Spirit. 

2iThess.i.i. 4 2 Cor. xiii. 13. 

3 Matt, xxviii. ig. -^ Rom. xv. 30. 

6 " St. Basil's statement of the reason of the use of \t.f.Ta., 
<Tvv, in tlie Doxology, is not confirmed by any earlier or con- 



equaily well with the preposition '^ a/zd^'' 
confute the mischief of Sabellius; * and it 
sets forth quite as well as '•''and'' the dis- 
tinction of the hypostases, as in the words 
" I and my Father will come," ^ and " I and 
my Father are one." ^ In addition to this the 
proof it contains of the eternal fellowsliip 
and uninterrupted conjunction is excellent. 
For to say that the Son is with the Father is 
to exhibit at once the distinction of the hy- 
postases, and the inseparability of the fellow- 
ship. The same thing is observable even in 
mere human matters, for the conjunction 
''and*' intimates that there is a common 
element in an action, while the preposition 
''with" declares in some sense as well the 
communion in action. As, for instance ; — 
Paul and Timothy sailed to Macedonia, but 
both Tychicus and Onesimus were sent to 
the Colossians. Hence we learn that they 
did the same thing. But suppose we are 
told that they sailed withy and were sent 
with? Then we are informed in addition 
that they carried out the action in company 
with one another. Thus while the word 
"with" upsets the error of Sabellius as no 
other word can, it routs also sinners who 
err in the very opposite direction ; those, 
I mean, who sej^arate tlie Son from the 
Father and the Spirit from the Son, by 
intervals of time.^ 

60. As compared with " in" there is this 
difference, that while ''with" sets forth the 
mutual conjunction of the parties associated, 
— as, for example, of those who sail with, 
or dwell with, or do anything else in com- 
mon, " in " shews their relation to that matter 
in which they happen to be acting. For we 
no sooner hear the words " sail in " or 
"dwell in" than we form the idea of the 
boat or the house. Such is the distinction 

temporary writer, as far as the editor is aware, nor is it contra- 
dicted." Rev. C. F. H. Johnston. 

1 •' Sabellius has been usually assig-ned to the middle of 
third century, Mr. Clinton ^ivinj^ A.D. 256-270 as his active 
period. The discovery of the Philosopliuniena of Hippolytus 
has proved this to he a mistake, and thrown his period back to 
the close of the second and be^inniuLf of the third century. . . . 
He was in full activity in Rome during- the Episcopate of 
Zephyrinus, A.D.19S-217." Professor Stokes in Z'.C. Biog.'w. 
569. For Basil's views of Sabellianism vide Epp. CCX., 
CCXIV.,CCXXXV. In his Hcer. Fab. Co«/. ii. 9 Theodoret 
writes: "Sabellius said that Father, Son, and Holy Ghost 
were one Hypostasis; one Person under three names; and he 
describes the same now as Father, now as Son, now as ] loly 
Ghost. He says that in the old Testament He gave laws as 
Father, \vas incarnate in the new as Son, and visited the 
Apostles as Holy Ghost." So in the 'E/c0icriT rfj? Kara /xf'pj? 
TTtcTTew?, a work falsely attributed to Gregory Thaumaturgus, 
and possibly due to ApoUinaris, {cf. Theod., Dial, iii.) '• We 
shun Sabellius, who says that Fatlier and Sou are the same, 
calling llim who speaks Father, and the Word, remaining in 
the Father and at the time of creation manifested, and, on the 
completion of things returning to the Father, Son. He says 
the same of the Holy Ghost." 

2 Apparently an inexact reference to John xiv. 23. 
8 John X. 30. 

4 i.e.. The Arians. wIto said of the Son, " There was when 
he was not ; " and the Pneuauitouiachi, who made the Spirit a. 
created being. 



38 



BASIL 



between these words in ordinary usage ; and 
laborious investi<ration miorht discover further 
illustrations. 1 have no time to examine 
into the nature of the syllables. Since then 
it has been shewn that '• ivith " most clearly 
gives the sense of conjunction, let it be 
declared, if you will, to be under safe-conduct, 
and cease to wage your savage and truceless 
war against it. Nevertheless, though the 
word is naturally thus auspicious, yet if any 
one likes, in the ascription of praise, to couple 
the names by the syllable '' and," and to 
give glorv, as we have taught in the Gospel, 
in the formula of baptism. Father and Son 
and Holy Ghost,* be it so: no one will 
make any ol^jection. On these conditions, if 
you will, let us come to terms. But our 
foes would ratlier surrender their tongues 
than accept this word. It is this that rouses 
against us their implacable and truceless 
war. We must offer the ascription of glory 
to God, it is contended, iii the Holy Ghost, 
and not and to the Holy Ghost, and they 
passionately cling to this word in^ as though 
it lowered the Spirit. It will therefore be 
not unprofitable to speak at greater length 
about it ; and I shall be astonished if they do 
not, when they have heard what we have to 
urge, reject the in as itself a traitor to their 
cause, and a deserter to the side of the glory 
of the Spirit. 

CHAPTER XXVI. 

That the woi'd ^^ in^^^ in as many senses as 
it bears^ is undei^siood of the Spirits 

6i. Now, short and simple as this utter- 
ance is, it appears to me, as I consider it, 
that its meanings are many and various. 
For of the senses in which '' in^* is used, we 
find that all help our conceptions of the 
Spirit. Forin is said to be in Mattel", 
Power to be in what is capable of it ; Habit 
to be in him who is afiected by it ; and so 
on.^ Therefore, inasmuch as the Holy 
Spirit perfects rational beings, completing 
their excellence. He is analogous to Form. 
For he, who no longer 'Mives after the 
flesh," ' but, being " led by the Spirit of 
God," ^ is called a Son of God, being " con- 
formed to the image of the Son of God,"^ 
is described as spiritual. And as is the 
power of seeing in the healthy eye, so is 
the operation of the Spirit in the purified 



1 Matt, xxviii. 19. 

2 c/. Note on Char '. p. 4, In the Aristotelian philos- 
ophy, ei6o9, or Form.., is the to ti y]v elvai, the essence or 
formal cause. cf.Kx., ]\Iet. vi. 7, 4. etfio? hi Ae'^w to ti r,j/ eli'at 
h<6.'jrov Kal TTqv npoJTrjv ovanw. Auva/ixi?, or Potentia, is poten- 
tial action or existence, as opposed to tvipyeia, actus, actual 
action or existence, or ivr^kixe^a. cf.Ar.,Met..\ni. 3, 9, and 
viii.8, II. Sir W. Hamilton, Metapfi. i. 17S-1S0. 

3 Rom. viii. 12. * Kom. viii. 14. ^ Rom. viii. 29. 



soul. Wherefore also Paul prays for the 
Epheslans that they may have their "eyes 
enlightened" by '*the Spirit of wisdom."* 
And as the art in him who has acquired it, 
so is the grace of the Spirit in the recipient 
ever present, though not continuously In 
operation. For as the art is potentially in 
the artist, but only in operation when he 
is working in accordance with it, so 
also the Spirit is ever present with those 
that are worthy, but works, as need re- 
quires, in prophecies, or in healings, or 
in some other actual carrying into effect 
of His potential action.^ Furthermore 
as in our bodies is health, or heat, or, 
generally, their variable conditions, so, 
very fiequently is the Spirit in the soul ; 
since He docs not abide with those who, on 
account of the instability of their will, easily 
reject the grace which they have received. 
An instance of this Is seen in Saul,^ and the 
seventy elders of the children of Israel, 
except Eldad and Medad, with whom alone 
the Spirit appears to have remained,^ and, 
generally, any one similar to these in char- 
acter. And like reason in the soul, which 
is at one time the thought in the heart, and 
at another speech uttered by the tongue,* 
so is the Holy Spirit, as when He " beareth 
witness with our spirit,"® and when He 
" cries in our hearts, Abba, Father," "^ or 
when He speaks on our behalf, as it is said, 
'' It is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of 
your Father which speaketh in you." ^ 
Again, the Spirit is conceived of, in rela- 
tion to the distribution of gifts, as a whole 
in parts. For we all are ''members one of 
another, having gifts differing according to 
the grace that is given us." ^ Wherefore 
'' the eye cannot say to the hand, I have no 
need of thee ; nor again the head to the feet, 
I have no need of you," *° but all together 
complete the Body of Christ in the Unity 
of the Spirit, and render to one another the 
needful aid that comes of the gifts. *' But 
God hath set the members in the body. 



lEph. i. 17, 18. 

2^1/ uAAois- Tiat ^uva/ixetov ivepynixaii, Tlie Benedictine trans- 
lation is in aliis miraculorum operation ibm:.''^ It is of course 
quite true that ^ui'a/at? is one of the four words used in the New- 
Testament lor miracle, and often has that sense, but here the 
context suggests tlie antithesis between potential and actual 
operation, and moreover non-miraculous (in the ordinnrv 
sense) operations of the Spirit need not be excluded; in a deep 
sense all His operations are miraculous. ei'epyr)ij.a is an un- 
common word, meaning the work wrought by evepyeia or oper- 
ation. 

3 I Sam. xvi, 14, 

4 Numb. xi. 25, 26, LXX. and R.V. "did so no more" for 
" did not cease " of A.V. 

•'JThe di^tinction between the A670? evSta^eTO?, thought, and 
the Ao-yj? nop(f)opLK6^, speech, appears first in Philo. II. 154. 
On the use of the term in Catholic Theology cf. Dr. Robert- 
son's note on Ath., De Syn . § xxvi. p. 463 of the Ed. in this 
series. Also, Dorner, Div. I. i. p. 338, note. 

'^ Kom. viii. 16. ** M;itt, x. 20. ^"^ i Cor. xii. 21. 

''Gal. vi.4. Horn. xii. 5, 6. 



ON THE SPIRIT. 



39 



every one of them, as it hath pleased Him." ' 
But ''' the members have the same care for 
one another,"^ according to the inborn spir- 
itual communion of their sympathy. Where- 
fore, " whether one member suffer, all the 
members suffer with it ; or one member be 
honoured, all the members rejoice with it." ^ 
And as parts in the w^hole so are we indi- 
vidually in the Spirit, because we all '* were 
baptized in one body into one spirit." * 

62. It is an extraordinary statement, but 
it is none the less true, that the Spirit is fre- 
quently spoken of as the place of them that are 
being sanctified, and it will become evident 
that even by this figure the Spirit, so far from 
being degraded, is rather glorified. For 
w^ords applicable to the body are, for the 
sake of clearness, frequently transferred in 
scripture to spiritual conceptions. Accord- 
ingly we find the Psalmist, even in reference 
to God, saying " Be Thou to me a champion 
God and a strong place to save me " ^ and 
concerning the Spirit "behold there is a 
place by me, and stand upon a rock." ^ 
Plainly meaning the place or contemplation 
in the Spirit wherein, after Moses had en- 
tered thither, he was able to see God intel- 
ligibly manifested to him. This is the special 
and peculiar place of true worship ; for it is 
said " Take heed to thyself that thou offer 
not thy burnt offerings in every place . . .but 
in the place the Lord thy God shall choose." '^ 
Now what is a spiritual burnt offering? 
'' The sacrifice of praise." ® And in what 
place do we ofier it? In the Ploly Spirit. 
Where have we learnt this? From the 
Lord himself in the words " The true wor- 
shippers shall worship the Father in spirit 
and in truth." ^ This place Jacob saw and 
said "The Lord is in this place."'' It 
follows that the Spirit is verily the place of the 
saints and the saint is the proper place for 
the Spirit, offering himself as he does for the 
indwelling of God, and called God's Temple.** 
So Paul speaks in Christ, saying " In the 
sight of God we speak in Christ," *^ and Christ 
in Paul, as he himself says " Since ye seek a 
proof of Christ speaking in me." *^ So also 
in the Spirit he speaketh mysteries,*^ and 
again the Spirit speaks in him.*^ 



1 I Cor. xii, iS, slightly varied in order. 

2 I Cor. xii. 25. <• Ex. xxxiii. 21, LXX. 

3 I Cor. xii. 26. ' Deut. xii. i.^, 14. 
* An inversion of i Cor. xii. 13^ ^ Ps. 1. 14, LXX. 
eps. lxxi.3, LXX. 

9Jnhn IV. 2?. With this interpretation, rf. Athan., Epist. i. 
Ad Serap. § 33, " Hence it is shewn that the Truth is the Son 
Himself . . . for they worship the Father, but in Spirit and 
in Truth, confessing the Son and the Spirit in him ; for the 
Spirit is inseparable from the Son as the Son is inseparable 
from the Father." 

!<• Gen. xxviii. 16. '3 2 Cor. xiii. 3. 

11 I Cor. vi. 19. 1* I Cor. xiv. 2. 

" a Cor, ii. 17. '^ i Peter i. 11. 



63. In relation to the originate,* then, the 
Spirit is said to be in them "in divers por- 
tions and in divers manners," ^ while in 
relation to the Father and the Son it is more 
consistent with true religion to assert Him 
not to be in but to he with. For the grace 
flowinof from Him when He dwells in those 
that are worthy, and carries out His own 
operations, is well described as existing in 
those that are able to receive Him. On the 
other hand His essential existence before the 
ages, and His ceaseless abiding with Son 
and Father, cannot be contemplated without 
requiring titles expressive of eternal conjunc- 
tion. For absolute and real co-existence is 
predicated in the case of things which are 
mutually inseparable. We say, for instance, 
that heat exists in the hot iron, but in the 
case of the actual fire it co-exists ; and, simi- 
larly, that health exists in the body, but that 
life co-exists with the soul. It follows that 
wherever the fellowship is intimate, congen- 
ital,^ and inseparable, the word with is 
more expressive, suggesting, as it does, the 
idea of inseparable fellowship. Where on 
the other hand the grace flowing from the 
Spirit naturally comes and goes, it is prop- 
erly and truly said to exist //2, even if on 
account of the firmness of the recipients' dis- 
position to good the grace abides with them 
continually. Thus whenever we have in 
mind the Spirit's proper rank, we contem- 
plate Him as being zvith the Father and the 
Son, but when we think of the grace that 



1 ei' to"? yfi/TjTo??, as in the Bodleian MS. The Benedictine 
text adopts the common reading yei'i'fjTot?, with the note, '• Sed 
discriinen illtid parvi inoiJie7iti." If St. Basil wrote 7ei/»/rjTot?, 
lie used it in the looser sense of mortal : in its strict sense of 
"begotten" it would be singularly out of j)lace here, as the 
antithesis of the reference to the Son, who is yci'vtjto?, would 
be spoilt. In the terminology of theology, so far fiom being 
'^ parvi mnviettti,''^ the distinction is vital. In the earlier 
Greek philosophy ayii/r/ro? and aye\'vy]ro'; are both used as 
nearly synonymous to express unoriginate or eternal, cf. Plat., 
Pliced. 245 D., o-px^ fit' dyei'TjToc, with Plat , Tim. 52 A., TobTo)*- 
hi ovtijos exovTUiv 6iJLo\oyr]Teov eu fxev etj'ai to KarSL TavrS. etSo? 
exov ay£i'vr)Toi' Koi avu)\e6pov. And the earliest patiistic use 
similarly meant by -yei'i'Tjro? and aydwriTO'; created and un- 
created, as in Ign., Ad Eph. vii., where our Lord is called 
7evi'T7T6s KoX 6.yi.vvy\ro<;, i.v 6.yr>px)-rru> ©eos, ei' Oavdrui ^torj aky]9ivr). 
cf. Bp. Lightfoot's note. But ••such language is not in ac- 
cordance with later theological definitions, which carefully 
distinguished between yei'TjTo? and yiivvr]T6-;, between a-yeVrjro? 
and avcVvrjTo?; so that yei/rjro?, a-y-'i'rjTo?, respectively denied 
and affirmed the eternal existence, being equivalent to ktio-to?, 
a/crtcTTO?, while yevvr]ro<;, d-yeVrrjrc; described certain ontologi- 
cal relations, whether in time or in eternity. In the later 
theological language, therefore, the Son was yevvr,T6<; even in 
His Godhead. See esp. Joann. Damasc, De Fid. Orth. i. ^ (I. 
p. 135, Lequien), XP^ y<^P eiScrat ort to a.yivr\Tov, 6id toO ei'b? v 
ypa<})6!Jievov, to dxTio-TOi' rj to /xtj yei/oaevov arj^atVei, to 8e ayefvyi- 
Tov, SlOl t(i}v 8vo vv ypa(j)6fj.€vov, SrjAot to /litj yei'i'-qOei' ; whence he 
draws the conclusion that moi'os 6 Trarrjo ayevwro'; and moi-o? 6 
uio? yewur^ro';.'* Bp. Lightfoot, yl/. Fathers, Pt. II. Vol. II. 
p. 90, where the history of the words is exhaustively discussed. 
At the time of the Arian controversy the Catholic disputants 
were chary of employing these terms, because of the base uses 
to which their opponents put them ; so St. Basil, Contra 
Eunom. iv. protests against the Arian argument ei ayiv- 
i^rjTO? 6 Trarrip yepi^rjrlx; 8e 6 vto?, ov tJjs ai/Trj? ovotr'<;. 

cf. Ath., De Syn. in this series, p. 475, and I>e Decretis, on 
Newman's confusion of the terms, p. 149 and i6y. 

2 Heb. i. I. ^ au/ji4»vnjs. 






40 



BASIL 



flows from Him operating on those wiio par- 
ticipate in it, we say that the Spirit is in us. 
Atid the doxology which we offer " in the 
Spirit " is not an acknowledgment of His 
rank ; it is rather a confession of our own 
weakiiess, while we shew that we are not 
suflicient to gflorifv Him of ourselves, but 
our sufficiency * is in the Holy Spnit. En- 
abled in, [or by,] Him we render thanks to 
our God for the benefits we have received, 
according to the measure of our purification 
from evil, as we receive one a larger and 
another a smaller share of the aid of the 
Spirit, that we may offer "the sacrifice of 
praise to God." ^ According to one use, then, 
it is thus that we offer our thanksgiving, as 
the true religion requires, in the Spirit; 
although it is not quite unobjectionable that 
any one should testify of himself '' the Spirit 
of God is in me, and I offer glory after being 
made wise through the grace that flows from 
Him." For to a Paul it is becoming to say 
" I think also that I have the Spirit of God," ^ 
and again, " that good thing which was com- 
mitted to thee keep by the Holy Ghost which 
dwelleth in us." '* And of Daniel it is 
fitting to say that " the Holy Spirit of God 
is in him," ^ and similarly of men who are 
lilce these in virtue, 

64. Another sense may however be given 
to the phrase, that just as the Father is seen 
in the Son, so is the Son in the Spirit. The 
'' worship in the Spirit" suggests the idea 
of the operation of our intelligence being 
carried on in the light, as may be learned 
from the words spoken to the woman of 
Samaria. Deceived as she was by the cus- 
toms of her country into the belief that wor- 
ship was local, our Lord, with the object of 
giving her better instruction, said that wor- 
ship ought to be offered " in Spirit and in 
Truth,"* plainly meaning by the Truth, 
Himself. As then we speak of the worship 
offered in the Image of God the Father as 
worship in the Son, so too do we speak of 
worship in the Spirit as shewing in Himself 
the Godhead of the Lord. Wherefore even 
in our worship the Holy Spirit is inseparable 
from the Father and the Son. If you re- 
main outside the Spirit you will not be able 
even to worship at all ; and on your becom- 
mg in Him you will in no wise be able to 
dissever Him from God; — any more than 
vou will div^orce light from visible objects. 
For it is impossible to behold the Image of 
the invisible God except by the enlighten- 
ment of the Spirit, and impracticable for 



ir/". 2 Cor. iii. 5. 
2 ileb. xiii. 15. 
2 1 cor. vii. 40. 



* 2 Tim. i. 14. 
" Dan. iv. S, Ixx. 
*Joha iv. 24. 



him to fix his gaze on the Image to dissever 
the light from the Image, because the cause 
of vision is of necessity seen at the same 
time as the visible objects. Thus fitly and 
consistently do we behold the *^ Brightness 
of the glory " of God by means of the illumi- 
nation of the Spirit, and bv means of the 
" Express Image " we are led up to Him of 
whom He is the Express Image and Seal, 
graven to the like.' 

CHAPTER XXVII. 

0/ the origin of the word "with,''^ and what 
force it has. Also concerning the unwritten 
laws of the church. 

6^. The word " ^Vz," say our opponents, 
" is exactly appropriate to the Spirit, and 
sufficient for every thought concerning Him. 
Why then, they ask, have we introduced 
this new phrase, saying, '-''with the Spirit" 
instead of "^ in the Holy Spirit," thus 
employing an expression which is quite un- 
necessary, and sanctioned by no usage in the 
churches.^ Now it has been asserted in the 
previous portion of this treatise that the word 
" in " has not been specially allotted to the 
Holy Spirit, but is common to the Father 
and the Son. It has also been, in my opin- 
ion, sufficiently demonsti'ated that, so far 
from detracting anything from the dignity of 
the Spirit, it leads all, but those whose 
thoughts are wholly perverted, to the sub- 
limest height. It remains for me to trace 
the origin of the word " with; " to explain 
what force it has, and to shew that it is in 
harmony with Scripture. 

(i(>. ^ Of the beliefs and practices whether 



If/", note on § 15. So Athan. in Matt. xi. 22. '^(l>pay\<; yap 
e(TTLV icroruTTO? iu eavTcZ detKvui; tov Trarepa. cf. Athan., J?e Dec. 
§ 20, and note 9 in this series, p. 163. cf. also Greg. Nyss., In 
Eunom. ii. 12. 

2 The genuineness of this latter portion of the Treatise was 
objected to by Erasmus on the ground that the style is unlike 
that of Basil's soberer writings. Bp. Jeremy Taylor fo]lo\vs 
Erasmus (Vol. vi. ed. 1S53, p. 427). It was vindicated 1^ 
Casaubon, who recalls St. John Damascene's quotation of the 
Thirty Chapters to Amphilochius. Mr. C. F. H. Johnston re- 
marks, "The later discovery of the Syriac Paraphrases of the 
whole book pushes back this argument to about one hundred 
years from the date of St. Basil's writing. The peculiar care 
taken by St. Basil for the writing out of the treatise, and for 
its safe arrival in Amphilochius' hands, and the value set upon 
it by the friends of both, make the forgery of iialf the present 
book, and ihe substitution of it for the original wiihin that 
period, almost incredible." Section 66 is quoted as an author- 
itative statement on the right use of Tradition •' as a guide to 
the riyht understanding of Holy Scripture, for the right min- 
istration of the Sacraments, and the preservation of sacred 
rights and ceremonies in the purity of their original institu- 
tion," in Philaret's Longer Catechism of the Eastern Church. 

St. Basil is, however, strong on the supremacy of Holy 
Scripture, as in the passages quoted in Bp. H. Browne, On the 
xxxix Articles: '* Believe those things which are written; 
the things which are not written seek not." ^ {Horn. xxix. adv. 
Calum. S. Trin.) " It is a manifest defection from the faith, 
and a proof of arrogance, either to reject anything of what is 
written, or to introduce anything that is not." {De Fide, i.) 
cf. also Letters CV. and CL'lX. 'On the right use of Tradition 
cf. Hooker, Ecc. Pol. Ixv. 2, " Lest, therefore, the name of 
tradition should be offensive to any, considering how tar by 



ON THE SPIRIT. 



4r 



generally accepted or publicly enjoined which 
are preserved in the Church * some we pos- 
sess derived from written teaching ; others 
we have received delivered to us "■ in a 



some it hath been and is abused, we'menn by traditions ordi- 
iiances made in the prime of Cliristian Religion, established 
with that authority wliich Christ hath left to His Church for 
matters indifferent, and in that consideration requisite to be 
observed, till like authority see just and reasonable cause to 
alter them. So that traditions ecclesiastical a''e not rudely 
and in gross to be shaken off, because the inventors of them 
were men." 

cf. Tert., De Pr<2sc. 36, 20, 21, " Co7]$tat omnem dnrtrinam 
quce cum illis ecclesii'i apostoh'cis viatricibiis et ongiiialibus 
fidei conspiret veritati deputandam, id sine diihio tenetitem 
quod ecclesi<z ah apostolis, aposioli a CJiristo, Clirisius a Deo 
accepit." Vide Thomasius, Christ. Dogm. i. 105. 

Ttav." To give tiie apparent meaninj);- of the original seems 
impossible except by some sucii paraphrase as the above. In 
Scripture Soyixa, which occurs five times (Luke ii. 1, Acts xvi. 
4, xvii. 7, Eph. ii. 15, and Col. ii. 14), alwavs his its jiroper 
sense of decree or ordinances, cf. Hp. I.ightfoot, on Col. ii. 
14, and his contention that the Greek Fathers generally have 
mistaken the force of the passage in understanding t,6y,\xaTj. in 
both Col. and Eph. to mean the doctrines and precepts of the 
Gospel. K»jpuy/xa occurs eight times (Matt. xii. 41, Luke xi. 
33, Rom. xvi. 25, I Cor. i. 21, ii. 4, xv. 14, 2 Tim. iv. 17, and 
Tit. i. 3), always in the sense of preaching or proclamation. 

"The later Chiislian sense of Soy/xa, meaning doctrine, 
came from its secondary classical use, where it was applied to 
the authoritative and calen^orical 'sentences' of the philoso- 
phers: <^. Jusr. Mart.,^/o/. i. 7. oi, ei/'EAArjTi ra avroU apearH 
doyixaTicravTeg e< TrauTog Tw evl cvOfxaTi 0iA do")"^ a? rrpoaayopev- 
ovTa, KOLLTrso Tu-u SoyfxaTixiv epavriiuv oi'Tuyu." [All the Sects in 
general among the Greeks are known by the common name of 
philosophy, thoui^h their doctrines are. different.] Cic^ Acad, 
xi. \g, * De suis decretis quce pliilosophi vacant h6y\i.a.Ta.* , . . 
There is an approach towards the ecclesiastical meaning in 
Ignat., Mag, 13, /3t|8aicot?)7crai kv ro ? So-y/jcacri toi) Kvpiov Kai. riiiv 
ajTJcrroAwi'." Bp. Lightfoot in Col. ii. 14. The "doctrines" 
of heretics are also called SoyuaTa, as in Basil, Fp. CCLXI . and 
Socr., E. H. ili. 10. cf. Bp. Bull, in Serin. 2, *' Tlie dogmata or 
tenets of the Sadducees." In Orig., c. Cels. ili. p. 135, Ed. 
Spencer, 165S, 66-y,xa is used of the gospel or teaching' of our 
Lord. 

The special point about St. Basil's use of Sdviuara is that 
he uses the word of doctrines and practices privately and 
tacitly sanctioned in the Church (like awoppriTa, w^hich is used 
of the esoteric doctrine of the Pythagoreans, Plat., Phad. 62. 
B.), w^hile he reserves K-qpvyixaTa for what is now often under- 
stood Dy Soyfj-ara, i.e. " legitima synodo decreta." cf. Ep. 
Lir., where he speaks of the great Kripvyfia of the Fathers at 
Nicaga. In this he is supported by Eulogius, Patriarch of 
Alexandria, 579-607, of whom Photius (Cod. ccxxx. Migne 
Pat. Gr. ciii. p. 1027) writes, " In this work," i.e. Or. II. " he 
says that of the doctrines (oLSayudron') handed down in the 
church by the ministers of the word, some are Soyp-ara, and 
others rcrjpyy/aara. The distinction is that Snyfjiara are an- 
nounced with concealment and prudence, and are often de- 
signedly compassed with obscurity, in order that holy things 
may not be exposed to profane persons nor pearls cast before 
swine. Krjpuy.aara, on the other hand, are announced without 
any concealment." So the Benedictine Editors speak of Origen 
(c. Cels. i. 7) as replying to Celsus, *' />r(sdicationem Chris- 
tianonon toti orhi notiorem esse quant placita philosophorum: 
sed tamen fatetur, ut apud pliilosophos, ita etiam apud Chris- 
tianos 7ionulla esse velnti interiora, quce post exteriorein et 
propositain omnibus doctrinam tradantur.** Of KrjpiiyaaTa 
they note, " Videntur hoc nomine desig'iari leges ecclesiasticce 
et canonunt decreta q'/ce promulgari in ecclesia mos erat, ut 
neminem laterent.''"' Mr. C. F. H. Johnston r?marks : *' The 
ojaTO'Jo-toi/, which many now-a-days would call the Nicene 
dogma (t3 rov 'op.oov(j.ov Soyp-txTa, Soc, E. H. iii. to) because it 
was put forth in the Council of Nicrea, was for that reason 
called not Soyua, but /crjpuyua, by St. Basil, w^ho would have 
said that it became the Krjouyaa (definition) of that Cotincil, 
because it had ahvavs been the fidyua of the Church." 

In extra theoloirical philosophy a dogma has all along 
meant a certainly expressed opinion whether formally decreed 
or not. So Shaftesbury, Misc. Ref. ii. 2, •* He who is certain, 
or oresumes to say he knows, is in that particular, whether he 
be mistaken or in the riofht, a dogmatist." cf. Littre, S. V. for a 
similar use in French. In theology the modern Roman limita- 
tion of dogma to decreed doctrine is illustrated by the state- 
ment of Abbe Bergier {Diet, de Theol. Ed. 1S44) of the 
Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin. ''Or, nous 
convenons que ce n''est pas un dogme de foi,''* because, though 
a common opinion among Romanists, it had not been so as- 
serted at the Council of Trent. Since the publication of Pius 
IX 's Edict of 1854 it has become, to ultramontanists, a 
** dogma of faith." 



mystery " ' by the tradition of the apostles ; 
and both of these in relation to true religion 
have the same force. And these no one 
will gainsay ; — no one, at all events, who is 
even moderately versed in the institutions of 
the Church. For were we to attempt to re- 
ject such customs as have no written author- 
ity, on the ground that the importance they 
possess is small, we should unintentionally 
injure the Gospel in its very vitals ; or, rather, 
should make our public definition a mere 
phrase and nothing more.^ For instance, 
to take the first and most general example, 
who is there who has taught us in writing 
to sign with the sign of the cross those who 
have trusted in the name of our Lord Jesus 
Christ.? What writing has taught us to 
turn to the East at the prayer.? Which of 
the saints has left us In writing the words 
of the invocation at the displaying^ of the 
bread of the Eucharist and the cup of bless- 
ing.? For we are not, as is well known, 
content with what the apostle or the Gospel 
has recorded, but both in preface and con- 
clusion we add other words as being of great 
importance to the validity of the ministry, 
and these we derive from unwritten teachins". 

1 I Cor. ii. 7. Whether there is or is not here a conscious 
reference to St. Paul's words, there seems to be both in tlie 
text and in the passage cited an employment of MvcrT^ptoi' in 
its proper sense of a secret revealed to the initiated. 

2 i.e. if nothing were of weight but what was written, what 
need of any authorisation at all? There is no need of Krjpvy,xa. 
for a Soyixa expressly written in Scripture. 

8 k-rrl tq dva6et^ei.. The Benedictine note is: " IVon respicit 
Basilius ad ritum ostensionis Eucharistice, ut multi e.xisti- 
viarunt, sed potius ad verba Litur^ice ipsi ascript<e, cum petit 
sacerdos, ut veniat Spiritus sanctus aytao-ai Kai d^aSeTfai. mov 
p.\v dpToy TOjTOf avTo to rifxiov crw/xa Toi) Kvpiov. Maec autem 
verba km ty) dvaSei^si, sic reddit Erasmus^ cum ostenditur. 
Vituperat eum Ducceus, sicque ipse vertit, cum conficitur, 
atque hanc interpretationem multis exemplis co7ifirmat. Vide- 
tur tamen nihil prorsus vitii habitura haec ittterpretatio, In- 
vocationis verba cum ostenditur panis Eucharistiae, id est, cum 
panis non jam panis est, sed panis Eucharistice, siie corpus 
Christi ostenditur ; et in liturgia, ut sanctificet ct ostendat 
hunc quidem panem, ipsum pretiosum corpus Domini. Nam 
/o Cur earn vocem^ reformidemus,qri.a Latini uti noti dubitant, 
ubi de Eucharistia loquutitur? J^iiale est illud Cypriani tn 
epistola 63 ad Concilium: Vino Christi sanguis ostenditur. 
Sic etiam Tertullianus I. Marc. c. 14: Panem quo ipsum 
corpus suum repraesentat 20 Ut Greece. ii'aSei'^ai, dTroc/airftr, 
ita etiam Latiue, ostendere, corpus Christi ptcesens in Eu- 
charistia signi/icatione quodam modo exprimit. Hoc enim 
verbum non solum panem fieri corpus Domini signifcat . sed 
etiam fidem nostram exciiat, ut illud corpus sub specie panis 
videndum, tegendum, adorandum ostendi credamus. ^uem. 
admodum Irenceus, cum ait lib. iv. cap. 33 : Accipiens panem 
suum corpus esse confitebatur, et temperamentum calicis 
suum sanguinem conformavit, non solum mutationem panis et 
vini in corpus et sanguinem Christi exprimit, sed ipsam etiam 
Christi asseverationem, quce hanc nobis mutationem persuadet: 
sic qui corpus Christi in Eucharistia ostendi et repreesentari 
dicunt, non modo jejuno et exit iter loqui non videvtur. sed 
etiajn acriores Christi preesentis adorandi stimiilo'i subjicere. 
Poterat ergo ret inert interpretatio Erasmi ■. sed quia viris 
eruditis displicuit, satius visum est quid sintireni in hoc 
nota exponere.^'' 

This view of the meaning of avaSei/cwcr^ai and «i'd5f ^ c as 
beinsj equivalent to ttoi^'v and TroiT)o-i<r is borne out and illus- 
trated by Suicer, 5. V. ** Ex his jam satis liquerearbitror d'a^ei- 
I It apud Basilium id esse quod alii GrcEci patres dicunt noulu 
vel aTTOt^aiVeiv (jijip.a xptcTTov." 

It is somewhat curious to find Bellarmine {De Sacr. Euch. 
iv. § 14) interpreting the prayer to God fuAoyrj<rai kiI dyidx l 
KoX auaSei^ai to mean " ostende per effectuyn salutarem. tn 
mentibus nostris istum panem salutificatum non esse panem 
vulgarem sed ccelestem. 



42 



BASIL 



Moreover we bless the water of baptism and 
the oil of the chrism, and besides this the 
catechumea who is being baptized. On 
what written authority do we do this? Is 
not our authority silent and mystical tradi- 
tion? Nay, by what written word is the 
anointing of oil ^ itself taught ? And whence 
comes the custom of baptizing thrice ?'^ And 
as to the other customs of baptism from 
what Scripture do we derive the renuncia- 
tion of Satan and his angels? Does not this 
come from that unpublished and secret 
teaching which our fathers guarded in a 
silence out of the reach of curious meddling 
and inquisitive investigation? Well had they 
learnt the lesson that the awful dignity of 
the mysteries is best preserved by silence. 
What the uninitiated are not even allowed 
to look at was hardly likely to be publicly 
paraded about in written documents. What 
was the meaning of the mighty Moses in 
not making all the parts of the tabernacle 
open to every one ? The profane he stationed 
without the sacred barriers ; the first courts 
he conceded to the purer; the Levites alone 
he judged worthy of being servants of the 
Deity; sacrifices and burnt olTerings and the 
rest of the priestly functions he allotted to 
the priests ; one chosen out of all he admitted 
to the shrine, and even this one not always 
but on only one day in the year, and of this 
one day a time was fixed for his entry so 
that he might gaze on the Holy of Holies 
amazed at the strangeness and novelty of 
the sight. Moses was wise enough to know 
that contempt attaches to the trite and to 
the obvious, while a keen interest Is natu- 
rally associated with the unusual and the 
unfamiliar. In the same manner the Apos- 
tles and Fathers who laid down laws for the 
Church from the beginning thus guarded 
the awful dignity of the mysteries in secrecy 
and silence, for what is bruited abroad at 
random among the common folk is no mys- 
tery at all. This is the reason for our tra- 
dition of unwritten precepts and practices, 
that the knowledge of our dogmas may not 
become neglected and contemned by the 
multitude through familiarity. "Dogma" 
and "Kerugma" are two distinct things; 
the former is observed in silence ; the latter 
is proclaimed to all the world. One form of 
this silence is the obscurity employed in 
Scripture, which makes the meaning of 
" dogmas " difficult to be understood for 



1 For the unction of catechumens cf. Ap. Const, vii. 22; of 
the baptized, Tertullian, De Bapt. vii.; of the confirmed, id. 
viii. ; of the sick vide Plumptre on St. James v. 14, in Cam- 
bridg'e Bible for Schools, cf. Letter clxxxviii. 

2 For trine immersion an early authority is Tertullian, c. 
Praxeam xxvi. cf. Greg. Nyss., De Bapt. vhcxji eavTov^ eyKpviT' 
TOfj-ey , , , Kal rpirov tovtq noi-wavTis . Diet. C/i. Ant. i. 161. 



the verv advantage of the reader : Thus 
we all look to the East * at our prayers, but 
few of us know that we are seeking our 
own old country,^ Paradise, which God 
planted in Eden in the East.'^ We pray 
standing,^ on the first day of the week, but 
we do not all know the reason. On the day of 
the resurrection (or " standing again" Grk. 
avdaraaig) we remind ourselves of the grace 
given to us by standing at prayer, not 
only because we rose with Christ,^ and are 
bound to ''seek those things which are 
above," ^ but because the day seems to us to be 
in some sense an image of the age which we 
expect, wherefore, though it is the beginning 
of days, it is not called by Moses Jirst.^ but 
one.^ For he says "There was evening, 
and there was morning, one day," as though 
the same day often recurred. Now "one" 
and "eighth "are the same, in itself dis- 
tinctly indicating that really " one " and 
" eighth " of which the Psalmist makes 
mention in certain titles of the Psalms, the 
state which follows after this present time, 
the day which knows no waning or eventide, 
and no successor, that age which endeth 
not or groweth old.^ Of necessity, then, 
the church teaches her own foster children 
to offer their prayers on that day standing, to 
the end that through continual reminder of 
the endless life we may not neglect to make 
provision for our removal thither. More- 
over all Pentecost Is a reminder of the resur- 
rection expected in the age to come. For 
that one and first day. If seven times 
multiplied by seven, completes the seven 
weeks of the holy Pentecost ; for, beginning 
at the first, Pentecost ends with the same, 
making fifty revolutions through the like 
intervening days. And so it is a likeness of 
eternity, beginning as it does and ending, as 
in a circling course, at the same point. On 
this day the rules of the church have edu- 
cated us to prefer the upright attitude of 
prayer, for by their plain reminder they, as 
it were, make our mind to dwell no longer 
in the present but in the f ;ture. Moreover 
every time we fall upon our knees and risii 



"^ cf. my note on Theodoret in this series, p. 112. 

2Heb. xi. 14, R.V. ^Gen.ii. 8. 

4 The earliest posture of prayer was standing;-, with the 
hands extended and raised towards heaven, and with the face 
turned to the East. cf. early art, and specially the figures of 
''oranti." Their rich dress indicates less their actual station 
in this life than the expected felicity of Paradise. Vide, Diet. 
Christ. Ant. ii. 16S4. 

6 " Stood again with " — (rvva.va.(jTi3.vre.%, 

6 Col. iii. I. 

7 Gen. i. <. Heb. LXX. Vulg. R.V. cf. p. 64. 

8 VideTlVi^'?. to Pss. vi. and xii.in A.V. " upon Sheminith," 
marg. " the eighth." LXX. urrep rr?? oySor^?. \\\\^.pro octava. 
On various explanations of the Hebrew word vide Diet. Bib. 
S. V. where Dr. Aldis Wright inclines to the view that it is a 
tune or key, and that the Hebrews were not acquainted witu 
the octave. 



ON THE SPIRIT. 



43 



from off them we shew by the very deed 
that by our sin we fell down to earth, and 
by the loving kindness of our Creator were 
called back to heaven. 

67. Time will fail me if I attempt to re- 
count the unwritten mysteries of the Church. 
Of the rest I say nothing; but of the very 
confession of our faith in Father, Son, and 
Holy Ghost, what is the written source? If 
it be granted that, as we are baptized, so 
also under the obligation to believe, we make 
our confession in like terms as our baptism, 
in accordance with the tradition of our bap- 
tism and in conformity with the principles 
of true religion, let our opponents grant us 
too the right to be as consistent in our ascrip- 
tion of glory as in our confession of faith. 
If they deprecate our doxology on the ground 
that it lacks written authority, let them give 
us the written evidence for the confession 
of our fliith and the other matters which we 
have enumerated. Wiiile the unwritten 
traditions are so many, and their bearing 
on " the mystery of godliness' is so impor- 
tant, can they refuse to allow us a single 
word which has come down to us from the 
Fathers; — which we found, derived from 
untutored custom, abiding in unpei*verted 
churches ; — a word for which the arguments 
are strong, and which contributes in no 
small degree to the completeness of the force 
of the mystery ? 

6S» The force of both expressions has 
now been explained. I will proceed to state 
once more wherein they agree and wherein 
they differ from one another ; — not that they 
are opposed in mutual antagonism, but that 
each contributes its own meaning to true 
religion. The preposition ^' in" states the 
truth rather relatively to ourselves ; while 
'' wiy/i " proclaims the fellowship of the Spirit 
with God. Wherefore we use both words, by 
the one expressing the dignity of the Spirit ; 
by the other announcing the grace that is 
with us. Thus we ascribe glory to God both 
'' in" the Spirit, and " with" the Spirit ; and 
herein it is not our word that we use, but w^e 
follow the teaching of the Lord as we might 
a fixed rule, and transfer His word to things 
connected and closely related, and of which 
the conjunction in the mysteries is necessary. 
We have deemed ourselves under a neces- 
sary obligation to combine in our confession 
of the faith Him who is numbered with Them 
at Baptism, and we have treated the confes- 
sion of the faith as the origin and parent of 
the doxology. What, then, is to be done? 
They must now instruct us either not to 



* I Tim. iii. 16. 



baptize as we have received, or not to believe 
as we were baptized, or not to ascribe glory 
as we have believed. Let any man prove 
if he can that the relation of sequence in 
these acts is not necessary and unbroken ; 
or let any man deny if he can that innova- 
tion here must mean ruin everywhere. 
Yet they never stop dinning in our ears that 
the ascription of glory '''"with" the Holy 
Spirit is unauthorized and unscriptural and 
the like. We have stated that so far as the 
sense goes it is the same to say "glory be to 
the Father and to the Son a7id to the Holy 
Ghost," and glory be to the Father and to 
the Son with the Holy Ghost." It is im- 
possible for any one to reject or cancel the 
syllable *' and," which is derived from the 
very words of our Lord, and there is nothing 
to hinder the acceptance of its equivalent. 
What amount of difference and similarity 
there is between the two we have alieady 
shewn. And our argument is confirmed by 
the fact that the Apostle uses either word 
indifferently, — saying at one time ""in the 
name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of 
our God ;" * at another " when ye are gathered 
together, and my Spirit, with the power of 
our Lord Jesus," ^ with no idea that it makes 
any difference to the connexion of the 
names whether he use the conjunction or 
the preposition. 

CHAPTER XXVIII. 

That our opponents refuse to concede in the 
case of the Spi7'it the terms which Scripture 
uses in the case of 7?ien, as reigning together 
witli Christ. 

69. But let us see if we can bethink us 
of any defence of this usage of our fathers; 
for they who first originated the expression 
are more open to blame than we ourselves. 
Paul in his Letter to the Colosslans says, 
"And you, being dead in your sins and the 
uncircumcision . . . hath He quickened 
together with " ^ Christ. Did then God give 
to a whole people and to the Church the boon 
of the life with Christ, and yet tlie life with 
Christ does not belong to the Holy Spirit.^ 
But if this is impious even to think of, is it 
not rightly reverent so to make our confes- 
sion, as They are by nature in close con- 
junction ? Furthermore what boundless lack 
of sensibility does it not shew in these men 
to confess that the Saints are with Christ, (If, 
as we know is the case, Paul, on becoming 
absent from the body, is present with the 



1 I Cor. vi. II. 
• I Cor. V. 4. 



3 Col. ii. 13. 



44 



BASIL 



Lord,' and, after departing, Is with Christ") 
and, so far as lies in their power, to refuse to 
allow to the Spirit to be with Christ even to 
the satue extent as men ? And Paul calls him- 
self a '• labourer together with God"^ in the 
dispensation of the Gospel ; will they bring 
an indictment for Impiety against us, if we 
apply the term " fellow-labourer " to the 
lioly Spirit, through whom in every creature 
under heaven the Gospel bringeth forth 
fruit?'' The life of them tliat have trusted in 
the Lord " is hidden," it would seem, " with 
Christ in God, and when Christ, wlio is our 
life, shall appear, then shall " they themselves 
also " appear with Him in glory ;" ^ and is 
the Spirit of life Himself, " Who made us 
free from the law of sin," ^ not with Christ, 
both in the secret and hidden life with Him, 
and in the manifestation of the glory which 
we expect to be manifested in the saints? 
We are " heirs of God and joint heirs with 
Christ," ' and is the Spirit without part or lot 
in the fellowship of God and of His Christ? 
'' The Spirit itself beareth witness with our 
spirit that we are the children of God ; " ^ 
and are we not to allow to the Spirit even 
that testimony of His fellowship with God 
which we have learnt from the Lord? For 
the heiglit of folly is reached if we through 
the faith in Christ which is in the Spirit^ 
hope that we shall be raised together with 
Him and sit together in heavenly places,**^ 
whenever He shall change our vile body 
from the natural to the spiritual,' ' and yet 
refuse to assign to the Spirit any share in the 
sitting together, or in the glory, or anything 
else which we have received from Him. Of 
all the boons of which, in accordance with 
the indefeasible grant of Him who has prom- 
ised them, we have believed ourselves worthy, 
are we to allow none to the Holy Spirit, as 
though they were all above His dignity? It 
is yours according to your merit to be " ever 
with the Lord," and you expect to be caught 
up " in the clouds to meet the Lord in the 
air and to be ever with the Lord." '^ You 
declare the man who numbers and ranks the 
Spirit with the Father and the Son to be 
guilty of intolerable impiety. Canyon really 
now deny that the Spirit is with Christ? 

70. 1 am ashamed to add the rest. You 
expect to be glorified together with Christ ; 
(" if so be that we suffer with him that we 
may be also glorified together ; " ''^) but you 

1 cf. 2 Cor. V. 8. 4 cf. Col. i. 6. 7 Rom. viii. 17. 

3 <-/. Phil. i. 23. 5 Col. iii. 3, 4. 

3 I Cor. iii. 9. 6 Rom. viii. 2. 

8 Rom. viii, 16, 17. In this passage A.V. follows the neuter 
of the Greek original. R.V. has substituted " himself." cf. 
note on p. 15. 

■J cf. Gal. V. 5. 10 cf. Eph. ii. 6. 

11 cf. Phil. iii. 21, and i Cor. xv. 44. 

12 I Thess. iv. 17. " Rom. viii. 17. 



do not glorify the " Spirit of holiness" ' to- 
gether with Christ, as though He were not 
worthy to receive equal honour even with 
you. You hope to 'Meign with " ^ Christ; 
but you " do despite unto the Spirit of grace" ^ 
by assigning Him the rank of a slave and a 
subordinate. And I say this not to demon- 
strate that so much is due to the Spirit in the 
ascription of glory, but to prove the unfair- 
ness of those who will not ever give so much 
as this, and shrink from the fellowship of the 
Spirit with Son and Father as from impiety. 
Who could touch on these things without a 
sigh? ^ Is it not so plain as to be within the 
perception even of a child that this present 
state of things joreludes the threatened eclipse 
of the faith? The undeniable has become 
the uncertain. We profess belief in the 
Spirit, and then we quarrel with our own 
confessions. We are baptized, and begin to 
fight again. We call upon Him as the 
Prince of Life, and then despise Him as a 
slave like ourselves. We received Him with 
the Father and the Son, and we dishonour 
Him as a part of creation. Those who 
"know not what they ought to pray for," ° 
even though they be induced to utter a word 
of the Spirit with awe, as though coming 
near His dignity, yet prune down all that 
exceeds the exact proportion of their speech. 
They ought rather to bewail their weakness, 
in that we are powerless to express in words 
our gratitude for the benefits which we are 
actually receiving ; for He "• passes all under- 
standing," ® and convicts speech of its natural 
inability even to approach His dignity in the 
least degree ; as it is written in the Book of 
Wisdom,^ ''Exalt Him as much as you 
can, for even yet will He far exceed ; and 
when you exalt Him put forth all your 
strength, and be not weary, for you can 
never go far enough." Verily terrible is the 
account to be given for words of this ivind 
by you who have heard from God who can- 
not lie that for blasphemy against the Holy 
Ghost there is no forgiveness.^ 

CHAPTER XXIX. 

Enumeration of the illustrious fnen in the 
Chitrch who in their writings have used the 
word " with.''^ 

71. liN answer to the objection that the dox- 
ology in the form " with the Spirit" has no 
written authority, we maintain that if there is 



1 Rom. i. 4. 2 2 Tim. ii. 12. 3 Heb. x. 29. 

4 cf. Verg., ^w. ii. ^uis talia fando . . . temperet a lacry- 
mis ^ 

" Rom. viii. 26. ^ Phil. iv. 7. 

' i.e. of Jesus the Son of Sirach, or Ecclus. xliii. 30, 

8 Luke xii. 10. 



ON THE SPIRIT. 



45 



no other instance of that which is unwritten, 
then this must not be receivecL But if the 
greater number of our mysteries are admitted 
into our constitution without written author- 
ity, then, in company with the many others, 
let us receive this one. For I hold it 
apostolic to abide also by the unwritten 
traditions. '^ I praise you," it is said, *' that 
ye remember me in all things, and keep the 
ordinances as I delivered them to you ; " ' 
and " Hold fast the traditions which ye 
have been taught whether by word, or 
our Epistle." ^ One of these traditions is 
th& practice which is now before us, which 
they who ordained from the beginning, 
rooted firmly in the churches, delivering it 
to their successors, and its use through long 
custom advances pace by pace with time. 
If, as in a Court of Law, we were at a loss 
for documentary evidence, but were able to 
bring before you a large number of witnesses, 
would you not give your vote for our ac- 
quittal? I think so; for *' at the mouth of 
two or three witnesses shall the matter be 
established." ^ And if we could prove 
clearly to you that a long period of time was 
in our favour, should we not have seemed to 
you to urge with reason that this suit ought 
not to be brought into coift't against us. ^ For 
ancient dogmas inspire a certain sense of 
awe, venerable as they are with a hoary an- 
tiquity. I will therefore give you a list of 
the supporters of the word (and the time too 
must be taken into account in relation to 
what passes unquestioned). For it did not 
originate with us. How could it.^ We, in 
comparison with the time during which this 
word has been in vogue, are, to use the words 
of Job, ''but of yesterday.""* I myself, if I 
must speak of what concerns me individually, 
cherish this phrase as a legacy left me by m}^ 
fathers. It was delivered to me by one ^ 
.who spent a long life in the service of God, 
and by him I was both baptized, and admitted 
to the ministry of the church. While ex- 
amining, so far as I could, if any of the blessed 
men of old used the words to which objection 
is now made, I found many worthy of credit 
both on account of their early date, and also — 
a characteristic in which they are unlike the 
men of to-day — because of the exactness of 
their knowledge. Of these some coupled the 
word in the doxology by the preposition, 
others by the conjunction, but were in no 
case supposed to be acting divergently, — at 



* I Cor. xi. 2. 3 Dent. xix. 15. 

2 2 Thess. ii 15. ^Jobviii.g. 

5 I.e. Dianius,bp. of the Capp;idoci in Cassarea, who baptized 
St. Basil c. 357 on his return from Athens, and ordained him 
Reader. He was a Avaverer, andsi-rned the creed of Ariminnm 
in 359; Basil consequently left him, but speaks reverentially 
of him in Ep. 51, 



least SO far as the right sense of true religion 
is concerned. 

72. There is the famous Irenaeus,* and 
Clement of Rome ;^ Dionysius of Rome,^ and, 
strange to say, Dionysius of Alexandria, 
in his second Letter to his namesake, on 
"Conviction and Defence," so concludes. 
I will give you his very words. "Follow- 
ing all these, we, too, since we have re- 
ceived from the presbyters who were before 
us a form and rule, offering thanksgiving in 
the same terms with them, thus conclude our 
Letter to you. To God the Father and the 
Son our Lord Jesus Christ, with the Holy 
Ghost, glory and might for ever and ever; 
amen." And no one can say that this pas- 
sage has been altered. He would not have 
so persistently stated that he had received a 
form and rule if he had said " hz the Spirit." 
For of this phrase the use is abundant : it 
was the use of '' with " which required de- 
fence. Dionysius moreover in the middle 
of his treatise thus writes in opposition to the 
Sabellians, "If by the hypostases being three 
they say that they are divided, there are 
three, thouofh they like it not. Else let them 
destroy the divine Trinity altogether." And 
again: "most divine on this account after 
the Unity is the Trinity." * Clement, in more 
primitive fashion, writes, " God lives, and 
the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy 
Ghost." ^ And now let us hear how Irenaeus, 
who lived near the times of the Apostles, 
mentions the Spirit in his work " Against 
the Heresies." ® " The Apostle rightly calls 
carnal them that are unbridled and carried 
away to their own desires, having no desire for 
the Holy Spirit," ' and in another passage 
Irenaeus savs, " The Apostle exclaimed that 
flesh and blood cannot inherit the kinsrdom 
of the heavens lest we, being without share 
in the divine Spirit, fall short of the king- 
dom of the heavens." If any one thinks 
Eusebius of Palestine ^ worthy of credit on 

1 t C. 200. 2 ■}• 100. 3 •(• 260. 

♦ Dionysius was Patriarch of Alexandria A.D. 247-265. 
Basil's " strang^e to say" is of a piece with the view of 
Dionysius' heretical tendencies expressed in Letter ix, q.v. 
Athanasiijs, however, (^De Sent. Dionysii) was satisfied as to 
the orthodoxy of his predecessor. Bp. Westcott {Diet. C. 
Biog. i. 851) quotes Lumper (Hist. Pat. xii. 86) as supposing' 
tliat Basil's charg^e against Dionysius of so\ving the seeds of 
the Anomoean heresy was due to imperfect acquaintance with 
his writings. In Letter clxxxviii. Basil calls him "the 
Great," which implies general approval. 

5 Clem. Rom., Ep. ad Cor. Iviii. Bp. Lightfoot's Ap. 
Fathers, Pt. 1. ii. 169. 

" Irenajus is near the Apostles in close connexion, as well 
as in time, through his personal knowledire of Polycarp. ViJe 
his Ep to tlorinus quoted in Euseb., Ecc. Hist. v. 20. In liis 
work On the Oo-c/ooc^, quoted in the same chapter, Iren?eus says 
of himselt that he rrjc •n-pcoTTjt' tixiv 'A770crToAa)i' AcaretArj^ej'ot rr)v 
hia})ox^]v " had himself had the nearest succession of the 
Apostles." 

7 The reference is presumably to i Cor. ii. 11 and iii. 1. 

8 i.e. Eusebius of Csesarea, the historian, so called to dis- 
tinguish him from hi•^ nnmesake of Nicomedia. cf. Theodo- 
ret, Ecc. Hist. i. i. The work is not extant. It may be tha*- 



46 



BASIL 



account of his wide experience, I point 
further to the very words he uses in discuss- 
ing questions concerning tlie polyg'^iniy of 
the ancients. Stirring up himself to his 
work, he writes '* invoking the holy God of 
the Prophets, the Author of light, through oiu- 
Saviour Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit." 
73. Origen, too, in many of his exposi- 
tions of the Psalms, we find using the form 
of doxology ^' with the Holy Ghost. The 
opinions which he held concerning the 
Spirit were not always and everywhere 
sound ; nevertheless in many passages even 
he himself reverently recognises the force 
of established usage, and expresses him- 
self concerning the Spirit in terms consist- 
ent with true religion. It is, if I am not 
mistaken, in the Sixth' Book of his Com- 
7nenta?y on the Gospel of St, John that he 
distinctly makes the Spirit an object of wor- 
ship. ■ His words are : — " Tiie v^'ashing of 
water Is a symbol of the cleaning of the soul 
which is washed clean of all filth that comes 
of wickedness ; ^ but none the less is it also by 
Itself, to him who yields himself to the God- 
head of the adorable Trinity, through the 
power of the invocations, the origin and 
source of blessings." x\nd again, in his Ex- 
position of the Epistle to the Romans " the 
holy powers," he says *' are able to receive the 
Only-begotten, and the Godhead of the Holy 
Spirit." Thus I apprehend, the powerful 
influence of tradition frequently impels the 
men to express themselves in terms contra- 
dictory to their own opinions.^ Moreover 
this form of the doxology was not unknown 



rnentinned by Eusebius in his Prsep. Evang-.vii. 8, 20 under the 
title of TTcpi Tfy? Ttjiv na\ai(x>i' apSpuiv 7roAu7rat6i.as. 

1 The quotation is from the Eighth Book. 

2 cf. I Pet. iii. 21. 

8 As to Origen's unorthodoxy concerning' the Holy Spirit 
St. Basil may have had in his mind such a passage as the 
following from the First Book of the De Pn'ncipiis, extant in 
the origir.al in Justinian, Ep. ad Mennam. Migne, Pat. Gr. 
xi. p. 150. OTt 6 y.kv Oe'o<; koI Trarrjp crvuext^f tcX navTa (/j^avet e(? 
eKacTTOv TMV ovrtAiu jaeraStSou? e/cacrTw aTro Toii i6iou to ei^ai • ibv 
yap kcTTLV' eAdTTwv 6e Trapa rbv irarepa 6 Yib? (fjOdvei ini fxoua to. 
AoyiKo.' Seurepos yap eart tov Trarpos' eVi 65 rjTTQf to irt/evfj-a to 
ayiou enl ix6vov<; tov<; ayiov^ SiiKi'Ovfj.ei'O:'' wcrre Kard. toOto fiei^utv 
T) SvvafjLLi; TOV HaTpb? rrapdi. TOf Yibt- Kal to ■m'eufj.a to ayiop' nAeiu>v 
Bi r/ ToO Ycoi) napdi to nvevuia to ayiov. Tlie work does not even 
exi^t as a whole in the translation of Rulinus, who "omitted 
portions, and St. Jerome thought that Rufinus had misrepre- 
scntad it. Photius {Bihiioth. cct/. viii.) says that Oriyren, in 
asserting in this work that the Son was made by the Father, 
and the Spirit by the Son, is most blasphemous. Bp. Harold 
Browne, however {Exposition of the xxxix. Art. p. 113, n, i), 
is of opinion that if Rufinus fairly translated the following 
passage, Origen cannot have been "fairly charged with heresy 
concerning the Holy Ghnst : *'■ Ne qiiis sane exist imet nos ex 
eo qicod diximus Spiriinm sanctum solis Sanctis prcestari. 
Patris vero et Filii bencjicia vel inoperationes pervenire ad 
honos et mains, jiistos rt injustos, p7'a>tulisse per hoc Patri et 
Fijio Spiritum Sanctum, vel majorem ejus per hoc asserere 
dignitatem; quod utiqiie valde inconsequens est. Proprieta- 
tem namque gratia ejus operisque descripsimus. Porro autem 
nihil in Trinitate majua minusve dicendum est, quum unius 
Divinitatis F(ms verbo ac ratione sua teneat universa, spiritu 
vero oris sui qure digna sunt, sanctificatione sanctificet, sicut 
in Psalmo scriptum est verbo domini coeli firmati sunt et 
spiritu oris ejus omnis virtus eoruni." De Prific.l.i'n. 'j. 

On the obligations of both Basil and Gregory of Nazianzus 
to Origen, cf. Socrates iv. 26. 



even to Africanus the historian. In the 
Fifth Book of his Epltoine of the Tluies he 
says " we who know the weight of those 
terms, and are not ignorant of the grace of 
faith, render thanks to the Father, who be- 
stowed on us His own creatures, Jesus 
Christ, the Saviour of the world and our 
Lord, to whom be glory and majesty with 
the Holy Ghost, for ever." ' The rest of 
the passages may peradventure be viewed 
with suspicion ; or may really have been 
altered, and the fact of their having been tam- 
pered with will be difficult to detect becausQ 
tlie difference consists in a single syllable. 
Those however which I have quoted at 
length are out of the reach of any dishonest 
manipulation, and can easily be verified from 
the actual works. 

I will now adduce another piece of evi- 
dence which might perhaps seem insignifi- 
cant, but because of its antiquity must in no- 
wise be omitted by a defendant who is indicted 
on a charge of innovation. It seemed fitting 
to our fathers not to receive the gift of the 
light at eventide in silence, but, on its appear- 
ing, immediately to give thanks. Who was 
the author of these words of thanksgiving at 
the lighting of the lamps, we are not able to 
say. The people, however, utter the ancient 
form, and no one has ever reckoned guilty of 
Impiety those who say '' We praise Father, 
Son, and God's Holy Spirit." ^ And if any 
one knowstheHymnofAthenogenes,^ which, 
as he was hurrying on to his perfecting by 
fire, he left as a kind of farewell gift '* to his 
friends, he knows the mind of the martyrs as 
to the Spirit. On this head I shall say no more. 

74. But where shall I rank the great 
Gregory,^ and the words uttered by him "^ 
Shall we not place among Apostles and 



1 Of the chief writings of Julius Africanus (called Sextus 
Africanus by Suidas), who wrote at Eminaus and Alexandria 
c. 220, only fragments remain. A Eetter to Origen is com- 
plete. His principal work was a Chronicon from the Creation 
toA.D. 22t, in Five Hooks. Of this Dr. Salmon (D.C.B.i.56) 
thinks the doxology quoted by Basil was the conclusion. 

2 Ps. cxii. was called 6 emAiixi'io; i/zaAM-b? (Ap. Const, viii. 
35). In the Vespers of the Eastern Church an evening hymn 
is sung, translated in D.C.A. i. 634, "Joyful Light of the holy 
glory of the immortal Father, the heavenly, the holy, the 
blessed [esus Christ, we having come to the setting of the sun 
and beholding the evening light, praise God, Father, Son, and 
Holy Ghost. It is meet at all times that thou shouldest be 
hymned with auspicious voices. Son of God, Giver of Life : 
wherefore the world glorifieth thee." 

3 Identified by some with two early hymns, Aofa cu vxIjlcttoi?, 
and <l>'05 iAaobv. 

* The MSS. vary between e^iTTjpiov and aXe^tr^jpiov, farewell 
gift and amulet or charm. In Ep. cciii. 299 Basil says that our 
Lord gave His disciples peace as an e|nrjpiof Suipof, using the 
word, but in conjunction with Swpov. Greg. Naz., Orat.xiv. 
223 speaks of our Lord leaving peace *' wo-n-ep aAAo tl e^irrj- 
piov." 

^> i.e. Greg-ory, bishop of Neocro<?area, known as Gregorius 
Thaumaturgus, or Gregory the Wonder-worker. To the mod- 
ern reader " Gregory the Great " more naturally suggests 
Gregory of Nazianzus, but this he hardly was to his friend 
and contemporary, though the title had accrued to him by the 
time of the accepted Ephesine Council in 431 (vide Labbe, 
vol. iv. p. 1 192) Gregory the Wonder-worker, f c. 270. 



ON THE SPIRIT. 



47 



Prophets a man who walked by the same 
Spirit as they ; ^ who never through all his 
clays diverged from the footprints of the 
saints; who maintained, as long as he lived, 
the exact principles of evangelical citizen- 
ship? I am sure that we shall do the truth 
a wrong if we refuse to number that soul 
with the people of God, shining as it did 
like a beacon in the Church of God ; for by the 
fellow-working of the Spirit the .power which 
he had over demons was tremendous, and 
so gifted was he with the grace of the word 
'^for obedience to the faith among 
the nations,"^ that, although only seven- 
teen Christians were handed over to him, he 
brought the whole people alike in town and 
country through knowledge to God. He too 
by Christ's mighty name commanded even 
rivers to change their course,^ and caused a 
lake, which afforded a grounrl of quarrel to 
some covetous brethren, to dry up.* More- 
over his predictions of things to come were 
such as in no wise to fall short of those of the 
great prophets. To recount all his wonderful 
works in detail would be too long a task. 
By the superabundance of gifts, wrought in 
him by the wSpirit in all power and in signs 
and in marvels, he was styled a second Moses 
by the very enemies of the Church. Thus in 
all that he through grace accomplished, alike 
byword and deed, a light seemed ever to be 
shining, token of the heavenly power from 
the unseen which followed liim. To this 
day he is a great object of admiration to the 
people of his own neighbourhood, and his 
memory, established in th'j churchos ever 
fresh and green, is not dulled by length of 
time. Thus not a practice, not a word, not 
a mystic rite has been added to the Church 
besides what he bequeathed to it. Hence 
truly on account of the antiquity of their in- 
stitution many of their ceremonies appear to 
be defective." For his successors in tlie ad- 
ministration of tlie Churches could not endure 
to accept any subsequent discovery in addi- 
tion to what had had his sanction. Now 
one of the institutions of Gregory is the very 
form of the doxology to which objection is 
now made, preserved bv the Church on 
the authority of his tradition ; a statement 
which may be verified without much trouble 
by any one who likes to make a short journey. 
That our Firmilian held this belief is testified 
by the writings which he has left.^ The 



I 2 Cor. xii. iS. 2 Rom. i. 5. 

3 e.or. accordini^ to the legend, the Lycus. cf. Newman, 
Essays on Miraclea, p. 267. 

* rhe sfory is told by Gregory of Nyssa, Life of Greg. 
Th'ium, Mi'zne xlvi. 926-9^0. 

•'■'The Neocaesareans appear to have entertained a Puritan 
objection to the antiphonal psalmody becoming general in the 
Cnurch in the time of Basil, cf. Ep. ccvii. 

" Firmilian, like Gregory the Wonder-worker, a pupil of 



contemporaries also of the illustrious Mele- 
tius say that he was of this opinion. But 
why quote ancient authorities.^ Now in the 
East are not the maintainers of true religion 
known chiefly by this one term, and sepa- 
rated from their adversaries as by a watch- 
word.^ I have heard from a certain Mesopo- 
tamian, a man at once well skilled in 
the language and of unperverted opinions, 
that by the usage of his country it is impos- 
sible for any one, even though he may wish 
to do so, to express himself in any other 
way, and that they are compelled by the 
idiom of their mother tongue to ofier tl^.e 
doxology by the syllable ** and," or, I should 
more accurately say, by their equivalent ex- 
pressions. We Cappadocians, too, so speaR 
in the dialect of our country, the Spirit having 
so early as the division of tongues foreseen 
the utility of the plu'ase. And what of the 
whole West, almost from Illyricum to the 
boundaries of our world .^ Does it not sup- 
port this word.'* 

75. How then can I be an innovator and 
creator of new terms, when I adchice as 
originators and champions of the word whole 
nations, cities, custom going back beyond 
the memory of man, men who were pillars 
of the church and conspicuous for all know- 
ledge and spiritual power.? For this cause 
this banded array of foes is set in motion 
against me, and town and village and re- 
motest regions are full of my calumniators. 
Sad and painful are these things to them 
that seek for peace, but great is the reward 
of patience for sufferings endured for the 
Faith's sake. So besides these let sword 
flash, let axe be whetted, let fire burn fiercer 
than that of Babylon, let every instrument of 
torture be set in motion against me. To me 
nothing is more fearful than failure to fear 
the threats which the Lord has directed 
against them that blaspheme the Spirit.* 
Kindly readers will find a satisfactory defence 
in what I have said, that I accept a phrase 
so dear and so familiar to the saints, and 
confirmed by usage so long, inasmuch as, 
from the day when the Gospel was first 
preached up to our own time, it is shewn to 
have been admitted to all full rights within the 
churches, and, what is of greatest moment, 
to have been accepted as bearing a sense in 
accordance with holiness and true religion. 
But before the great tribunal what have I pre- 
pared to say in my defence.? This; that I 
was in the first place led to the glory of the 
Spirit by the honour conferred by the Lord 

Origen, was bishop of Ca2sarea from before A.D. 232 (Euseb. 
vi. 36) to 272 (Euseb. vii. 30). By some his death at Tarsus is 
placed in 264 or 5. 
1 cf. Matt, xii. 31. 



48 



BASIL 



in associating: Him with Himself and with 
His Father at baptism ; ^ and secondly by 
the introduction of each of us to the knowl- 
edge of God by such an initiation ; and above 
all by the fear of the threatened punishment 
shutting out the thought of all indignity and 
unworthy conception. But our opponents, 
what will they say? After shewing neither 
reverence for the Lord's honour^ nor fear 
of His threats, what kind of defence will 
they have for their blasphemy? It is for 
them to make up their mind about their 
own action or even now to change it. For 
my own part I would pray most earnestly 
that the good God will make His peace 
rule in the hearts of all,^ so that these men 
who are swollen with pride and set in battle 
array against us may be calmed by the Spirit 
of meekness and of love ; and that if they 
have become utterly savage, and are in an 
untamable state, He will grant to us at least 
to bear with long suffering all that we have 
to bear at their hands. In short "to them 
that have in themselves the sentence of 
death," ^ it is not suffering for the sake of 
the Faith which is painful ; what is hard to 
bear is to fail to fight its battle. The athlete 
does not so much complain of being wounded 
in the struggle as of not being able even to 
secure admission into the stadium. Or per- 
haps this was the time for silence spoken of 
by Solomon the wise.^ For, when life is 
buffeted by so fierce a storm that all the in- 
telligence of those who are instructed in the 
word is filled with the deceit of false reason- 
ing and confounded, like an eye filled with 
dust, when men are stunned by strange and 
awful noises, when all the world is shaken 
and everything tottering to its fall, what 
profits it to cry, as I am really crying, 
to the wind? 

CHAPTER XXX. 

Exposition of the present state of the Churches. 

76. To what then shall I liken our pres- 
ent condition ? It maybe compared, I think, 
to some naval battle which has arisen out of 
time old quarrels, and is fought by men who 
cherish a deadly hate against one another, of 
long experience in naval warfare, and eager 
for the fight. Look, I beg you, at the pic- 
ture thus raised before your eyes. See the 
rival fleets rushing in dread array to the 
attack. With a burst of uncontrollable fury 

1 Matt, xxviii. 19. 

2 Tlie Benedictine version for tOi? rt.ud? toD Kvpiov is koft- 
orem quern Dontiiun^ tributt Spiritui. The reading- of one 
MS. is Ta? (f)a>i'a?. There is authority for either sense of the 
genitive with ti/x^, i.e. the honours due to the Lord or paid 
by the Lord. 

8 cf. Col. iii. 15. < 2 Cor. i. 9. s Eccl. iii. 7. 



they engage and fight it out. Fancy, if you 
like, the ships driven to and fro by a raging 
tempest, while thick darkness falls from the 
clouds and blackens all the scene, so that 
watchwords are indistinguishable in the 
confusion, and all distinction between friend 
and foe is lost. To fill up the details of the 
imaginary picture, suppose the sea swollen 
with billows and whirled up from the deep, 
while a vehement torrent of rain pours 
down from the clouds and the terrible waves 
rise high. From every quarter of heaven 
the winds beat upon one point, where both 
the fleets are dashed one against the other. 
Of the combatants soine are turning- traitors; 
some are deserting in the very thick of the 
fight ; some have at one and the same mo- 
ment to urge on their boats, all beaten by the 
gale, and to advance against their assailants. 
Jealousy of authoritv and the lust of individ- 
ual mastery splits the sailors into parties 
which deal mutual death to one another. 
Think, besides all this, of the confused 
and unmeaning roar sounding over all the 
sea, from howling winds, from crashing 
vessels, from boiling surf, from the yells of 
the combatants as they express their varying 
emotions in every kind of noise, so that not 
a word from admiral or pilot can be heard. 
The disorder and confusion is tremendous, 
for the extremity of misfortune, when life is 
despaired of, gives men license for every 
kind of wickedness. vSuppose, too, that the 
men are all smitten with the incurable plague 
of mad love of glory, so that they do not 
cease from their struggle each to get the 
better of the other, while their ship is ac 
tually settling down into the deep. 

77. Turn now I beg you from this figura- 
five description to the unhapp3M-eality. Did 
it not at one time ' appear that the Arian 
schism, after its separation into a sect opposed 
to the Church of God, stood itself alone in 
hostile array? But when the attitude of our 
foes against us was changed from one of long 
standing and bitter strife to one of open war- 
fare, then, as is well known, the war was 
split up in more ways than I can tell into 
many subdivisions, so that all men were 
stirred to a state of inveterate hatred alike by 
common party spirit and individual suspi- 
cion.^ But what storm at sea was ever so 
1 ' 

^ i.e. after the condemnation of Arius at Nicaea. 

2 In Ep. ccxiii. written in 376, St. Basil says: "This is the 
thirteenth year since the outbreak of the war of heretics 
against us." 363 is the date of the Acacian Council of An- 
tioch; 364 of the accession of Valens and Valentian, of the 
Semi-Arian Synod of Lamps;icus, ;ind of St. Basil's ordination 
to the priesthood and book agrainst Eunomius. On the propa- 
gation by scission and innumerable subdisisions of Arianism 
Canon Brig'ht writes : 

" The extraordinary versatility, the arg^umentative subtlety, 
and the too frequent profanity of Arianism nre matters ot 
which a few lines can give no idea. But it is necessary, in 



ON THE SPIRIT. 



49 



fierce and wild as this tempest of the 
Churches? In it every landmark of the 
Fathers has been moved; every foundation, 
every bulwark of opinion has been shaken ; 
everything buoyed up on the unsound is 
dashed about and shaken down. We attack 
one another. We are overthrown by one 
another. If our enemy i? not the first to 
strike us, we are wounded by the comrade at 
our side. If a foeman is stricken and falls, 
his fellow soldier trainples him down. 
There is at least this bond of union between 
us that w^e hate our conunon foes, but no 
sooner have the enemy gone by than we find 
enemies in one another. And who could 
make a complete list of all the wrecks? Some 
have gone to the bottom on the attack of 
the enemy, some through the unsuspected 
treachery of their allies, some from the blun- 
dering of their own officers. We see, as it 
were, whole churches, crews and all, dashed 
and shattered upon the sunken reefs 
of disingenuous heresy, while others of the 
enemies of the Spirit* of Salvation have 
seized the helm and made shipwreck of the 
faith. ^ And then the disturbances wrought 
by the princes of the world ^ have caused the 
downfall of the people with a violence un- 
matched by that of hurricane or whirlwind. 
The luminaries of the world, which God set 
to give light to the souls of the people, have 
been driven from their homes, and a darkness 
verily gloomy and disheartening has settled 



even the briefest notice of this long-lived heresy, to remark on 
the contrast between its changeable inventiveness and the 
simple steadfastness of Catholic doctrine. On the one side, 
some twenty different creeds (of which several, however, were 
rather negatively than positively heterodox) and three main 
sects, the Semi-Arians, with their formula of Homoiousion, 
i.e. the Son is like in essence to the Father; the Acacians, 
vaguely calling- Him like (Homoion) ; the Aetians, boldly 
calling Him unlike, as much as to say He is in no sense Divine. 
On the other side, the Church with the Nicene Creed, confess- 
ing- Him as Homoousion, ' of one essence with the Father,' 
meaning thereby, as her great champion repeatedly bore wit- 
ness, to secure belief in the reality of the Divine Sonship, and 
therefore in the real Deity, as distinguished from the titular 
deity which was so freely conceded to Him by the Arians." 
Canon Bright, St. Leo on the Incarnation, p. 140. 

Socrates (ii, 41), pausing- at 360, enumerates, after Nicaea : 

1. ist of Aiitioch ) , -.i. J i.1 „ < - A T-» \ 

2. 2d of Antioch 1 (o"^itted the o^oov<tiov, A.D. 341). 

3. The Cre«d brought to Constans in Gaul by Narcissus and 

other Arians in 342. 

4. The Creed " sent by E'rioxius of Germanicia into Italy," 

i.e. the " Macrostich," or '• J>engthy Creed," rejected at 
Milan in 346. 

5. The I St Creed of Sirmiura; i.e. the Macrostich with 26 ad- 

ditional clauses, 351. 

6. The 2d Sirmian Creed. The "manifesto;" called by 

Athanasius {De Synod. 28) " the blasph-imy," 357. 

7. Tlie 3d Sirmian, or "dated Creed," in the consulship of 

Flavius Eusebius and Hypatius, May 22d, 359. 
S. The Acacian Creed of Seleucia, ^^59. 

9. The Creed of Ariminum adopted at Constantinople, as re- 
vised at Nike. 

1 On the authority of the MS. of the tenth century at Paris, 
called by the Ben. Editors liegitis Secundiis, they read for 
TTfe-ijaiTo? Tra^ov?, denying TTfef/jLaro? to be consistent with the 
style and practice of Basil, wlio, thev say, never uses the epi- 
thet (Ttorijoto? of the Spirit. Mr. C. F. H. Johnston notes that 
St. Basil " always attributes the saving eftlcacv of Baptism to 
the presence of the Spirit, and here applies the word to Him." 
^^ § .^5 ^^ have to awr^pioi' /Sd-ncrua. 

a i Tim. i. 19. 3 , Cor. ii. 6. 



on the Churches.' The terror of universal 
ruin is already imminent, and yet their mu- 
tual rivalry is so unbonnde(J as to blunt all 
sense of danger. Individual hatred is of 
more importance than the general and com- 
mon warfare, for men by whom the immedi- 
ate gratification of ambition is esteemed more 
highly than the rewards that await us in a 
time to come, prefer the glory of getting the 
better of their opponents to securing the 
common welfare of mankind. So all men 
alike, each as best he can, lift the hand of 
murder against one another. Harsh rises 
the cry of the combatants encountering one 
another in dispute ; already all the Church is 
almost full of the inarticulate screams, tlie 
unintelligible noises, rising from the ceaseless 
agitations that divert the right rule of th-e 
doctrine of true religion, now in the direction 
of excess, now in that of defect. On the one 
hand are they who confound the Persons and 
are carried away into Judaism ; ^ on the 
other hand are they that, through the oppo- 
sition of the natures, pass into heathenism.^ 
Between these opposite parties inspired 
Scripture is powerless to mediate ; the tra- 
ditions of the apostles cannot suggest terms 
of arbitration. Plain speaking is fatal to 
friendship, and disagreement in opinion all 
the ground that is wanted for a quarrel. No 
oaths of confederacy are so efficacious in 
keeping men true to sedition as their likeness 
in error. Every one is a theologue though 
he have his soul branded with more spots 
than can be counted. The result is that 
innovators find a plentiful supply of men 
ripe for faction, while self-appointed scions 
of the house of place-hunters'* reject the 
government ^ of the Holv Spirit and divide 
the chief dignities of the Churches. The in- 
stitutions of the Gospel have now every- 
where been thrown into confusion by want of 
discipline ; there is an indescribable pushing 
for the chief places w^hile every self-advertiser 

1 Among- the bishops exiled during the persecution of 
Valens were Meletius of Antioch. Eusebius of Samosata, 
Pelagius of Laodioea, and Barses of Edessa. cf. Theodoret, 
Hist. Ecc. iv. \2 sq. cf. Ep. 195. 

2 The identification ot an unsound Monarchianism -with 
Judaism is illustrated in the ist Apology of ynstin Martyr, 
e.g. in § Ixxxiii. (Reeves' Trans.). ** Tlie Jews, therefore, for 
maintaining that it was the Father of the Universe who had 
the conference with Moses, when it was the very Son of God 
who had it, and who is styled both Ang-el and Apostle, are 
justly accused by the prophetic spirit and Christ Himself, for 
knowing neither the Fiither nor the Son ; for they who affirm 
the Son to be the Father are guilty of not knowing the F";ither. 
and likewise of being ignorant that the Father of the Universe 
has a Son, who, being^ the Logos and First-begotten of God, 
is God." 

3 i.e. the Arians, Avhose various ramifications all originated 
in a probably well-meant attempt to reconcile the principles of 
Christianity with what was best in the old philosophy, and a 
failure to see that the ditheism of Arianism was of a piece 
with polytheism. 

* The word o-7rouSap;^tSr? is a comic patronvmic of o-tt^i-- 
5-10 ^-r/?, a place-hunter, occurring in the Acharnians of Aris- 
tophanes, 595. ^ oiKoyojJiia, 



50 



BASIL ON THE SPIRIT. 



tries to force himself into high office. The 
result of this hist for ordering is that our 
people are in a state of wild confusion for 
lack of being ordered ; ' the exhortations of 
those in authority are rendered wholly pur- 
poseless and void, because there is not a man 
but, out of his ignorant impudence, thinks 
that it is just as much his duty to give orders 
to other people, as it is to obey any one else. 
7S. So, since no human voice is strong 
enough to be heard in such a disturbance, I 
reckon silence more profitable than speech, 
for if there is any truth in the v^ords of the 
Preacher, '' The w^ords of wise men are 
heard in quiet," ^ in the present condition of 
things any discussion of them must be any- 
thincj' but becominof. I am moreover re- 
strained by the Prophet's saying, •"' There- 
fore the prudent shall keep silence in that 
time, for it is an evil time," ^ a time when 
some trip up their neighbours' heels, some 
stamp on a man when he is down, and others 
clap their hands with joy, but there is not 
one to feel for the fallen and hold out a help- 
ing hand, although according to the ancient 
law he is not uncondemned, who passes by 
even his enemy's beast of burden fallen under 
his load."* This is not the state of things 
now. Why not? The love of many has 
waxed cold ; ^ brotherly concord is destroyed, 
the verv name of unity is ignored, brotherly 
admonitions are he:ird no more, nowhere is 
there Christian pity, nowhere falls the tear 
of sympathy. Now there is no one to re- 
ceive ''the weak in faith," ^ but mutual 
hatred has blazed so high among fellow 
clansmen that they are more delighted at a 
neighbour's fall than at their own success. 
Just as in a plague, men of the most regular 
lives suffer from the same sickness as the 
rest, because they catch the disease by com- 
munication with the infected, so nowadays 
by the evil rivalry which possesses our souls 
we are carried away to an emulation in 
wickedness, and are all of us each as bad as 
the others. Hence merciless and sour sit the 
judges of the erring; unfeeling and hostile 
are the critics of the well disposed. And to 
such a depth is this evil rooted among us 



1 avap\la ano ^iKapx'-O-i' 

2 Eccl. ix. 17. 

3 Amos V. 13. 



* Ezek. xxiii. 5. 
5 Matt. xxiv. 13. 
(^ Rum. xiv. I. 



that we have become more brutish than the 
brutes ; they do at least herd with their fel- 
lows, but our most savage warfare is with our 
own people. 

79. For all these reasons I ought to have 
kept silence, but I was drawn in the other 
direction by love, which " seeketh not her 
own,'" and desires to overcome every diffi- 
culty put in her way by time and circum- 
stance. I was taught too by the children at 
Babylon,^ that, when there is no one to sup- 
port the cause of true religion, we ought 
alone and all unaided to do our duty. They 
from out of the midst of the fiame lifted up 
their voices in hymns and praise to God, 
recking not of the host that set the truth at 
naught, but sufficient, three only that they 
were, with one another. Wherefore we too 
are undismayed at the cloud of our enemies, 
and, resting our hope on the aid of the Spirit, 
have, with all boldness, proclaimed the truth. 
Had I not so done, it would truly have been 
terrible that the blasphemers of the Spirit 
should so easily be emboldened in their at- 
tack upon true religion, and that we, with 
so mighty an ally and supporter at our side, 
should shrink from the service of that doc- 
trine, which by the tradition of the Fathers 
has been preserved by an unbroken sequence 
of memory to our own day. A further pow- 
erful incentive to my undertaking was the 
warm fervour of your ''love unfeigned,"^ 
and the seriousness and taciturnity of your 
disposition ; a guarantee that you would not 
publish what I was about to say to all the 
world, — not because it would not be worth 
making known, but to avoid casting pearls 
before swine.'' My task is now done. If 
you find what I have said satisfactory, let 
this make an end to our discussion of these 
matters. If you think any point requires 
further elucidation, pray do not hesitate to 
pursue the investigation with all diligence, 
and to add to your information by putting any 
uncontroversial question. Either through me 
or through others the Lord will grant full 
explanation on matters which have yet to 
be made clear, according to the knowledge 
supplied to the worthy by the Holy Spirit. 
Amen. . 



1 I Cor. xiii. 5. 

2 Dan. iii. 12 seqq. 



3 Rom. xii. 9 and 2 Cor. vi. 6. 
* Matt. vii. 6. 



INTRODUCTION TO THE HEXAEMERON. 



The Hcxaeme7'on is the title of nine homilies delivered by St. Basil on the cosmo« 
gony of the opening chapters of Genesis. When and where they were delivered is quite 
uncertain. They are I.enten sermons, delivered at both the morning and evening ser- 
vices, and appear to have been listened to by working men. {Horn. iii. i). Some words in 
Horn. viii. have confirmed the opinion that they were preached extempore, in accordance 
with what is believed to have been Basil's ordinarv practice.^ Internal evidence points in 
the same direction, for though a marked contrast might be expected betv»'een the style of a 
work intended to be read., like the Dc Spiritii Sancto^ and that of orations to be spoken 
in public, the Hexaemeron shews signs of being an unwritten composition. 

In earlier ages it wms tlie most celebrated and admired of Basil's works. Photius J! 
(Migne, Pat. Gr. cxli) puts it first of all, and speaks warmly of its eloquence and force. 
As an example of oratory he would rank it with the works of Plato and Demosthenes. 

Suidas singles it out for special praise. Jerome (^De Viris J//ust.) among Basil's works 
names only the Hexaemeron^ the De Sp. Scto^ and the treatise Co72tra Etmoiiniiin. 

That Basil's friends should think highly of it is only what might be expected. 
*' Whenever I take his Hexaemeron in hand," sa3s Gregory of Nazianzus, {Orat. xliii. ^^' 
6"]) '' and quote its words, I am brought face to face with m}^ Creator: I begin to under- 
stand the method of creation : I feel more awe than ever I did before, when I only looked 
at God's work with my eyes." 

Basil's brother Gregory, in the Prooemiu7n to his own Hexaemeron^ speaks in exagger- 
ated terms of Basil's work as inspired, and as being, in his opinion, as admirable as that of 
Moses. 

The Hexaemeron of Ambrose is rather an imitation than a translation or adaptation 
of that of Basil. Basil's Hexaemeron was translated into Latin by Eustathius Afer 
(c. A.D. 440) and is said to have been also translated bv Dionysius Exiguus, the Scythian 
monk of the 6th C. to whom is due our custom of datins: from the Saviour's birth. 

More immediately interesting to English readers is the Anglo-Saxon abbreviation at- 
tributed to yElfric, Abbot of St. Albans in 969, and by some identified with the yElfric 
who was iVrchbishop of Canterbury from 996 to 1006. This is extant in a MS. numbered 
Junius 33 in the Bodleian Library, and was collated with the MS. Jun. 47 in the same, a 
transcript of a MS. in the Hatton Collection, by the Rev. Henry W. Norman for his 
edition and translation published in 184S. It is nowhere a literal translation, but combines 
with the thoughts of St. Basil extracts from the Commentary upon Genesis of the Vener- )} 
able Bede, as well as original matter. It is entitled 

STI Basilii Exameron, S.zt Is Be Godes Six Daga Weorcvm. 

'* L'Hexameron," writes Fialon, " est Texplication de I'oeuvre des six jours, explication 
souvent tentee avant et apres Saint Basile. ' II n'est personne parmi les hommes, disait 
Theophile d'Antioche au deuxieme siecle, qui puisse dignement faire le recit et exposer 
toute I'ecomomie de I'oBUvre des six jours ; eut il mille bouches et mille langues. 
Bcaucoup d'ecrivains ont tente ce recit; ils ont pris pour sujet, les uns la creation du 
monde, les autres I'origine de I'homme, et peut-etre n'ont ils pas fait jaillir une etincelle 
qui fut digne de la verite.'^ Nous ne pouvons savoir ce que fut I'Hexameron de Saint Hip- 
polyte et nous ne savons guere qu'une chose de celui d'Origene : c'est qu'il denaturait 
completement le recit mosaique et n'y voyait que des allegories. L'Hexameron de Saint 
Basile, par la purete de la doctrine et la beaut6 du style, fit disparaitre tons ceux* qui 
I'avaient precede."^ So, too, bishop Fessler. '' Sapienter, pie, et admodum eloquenter 

"^cf. Rufinus ii. 9. 2 Theophilus of Antioch, //. Ad Autolycum. s ^tude sur St. Basile, 296. 

51 



52 



BASIL. 



istoe liomillae confectae sunt; quaedam explicationes physicae profecto juxta placlta scientiae 
illiiis ictatis dijudicandse sunt." ' On the other hand the prominence of the *' scientias illius 
aetatis " is probably the reason why the Hexaemeron has received from adverse critics less 
favour than it deserves. *' Diese letztern," i.e> the Homilies in question, says Bohringer, 
" erlangten im Alterthum eineganz unverdiente Beriihrntheit. . . . Die Art, wie Basil 
seine Aufgabe loste, ist diese ; er nimmt die mosaische Erziihlung von der Schopfung Vers 
fiir Vers vor, erklart sie von dem naturhistorischen Standpunkt seiner Zeit aus, wobei er 
Gelegenheit nimmt, die Ansicliten der griechischen Philosophen von der Weltschopfung 
u. s. vv. zu widerlcgen, und schliesst dann mit moralischer und religioser Nutzandwendurg, 
um den Stotf auch fiir Geist und Herz seiner Zuhorer fruchtbar zu machen. Es braucht 
indess kaum bemerkt zu w^erden, dass vom naturw^issenschaftlichen wie exegetischen 
Standpunkt unserer Zeit (hese Arbeit wenig Werth mehr hat." 1 he Three Cappado- 
cians^ p. 6i. But in truth the fact that Basil is not ahead of the science of his time is not 
to his discredit. It is to his credit that he is abreast with it; and this, with the exception 
of his geography, he appears to be. Of him we may say, as Bp. Lightfoot writes of St. 
Clement, in connexion with the crucial instance of the Phoenix, "it appears tliat he is 
not more credulous than the most learned and Intelligent heathen writers of the preceding 
and following generations." He reads the Book of Genesis in the light of the scientilic 
knowledge of his age, and in the amplification and illustration of Holy Scripture by the 
supposed aid of this supposed knowledge, neither he nor his age stands alone. Later cen- 
turies may possibly not accept all the science of the XlXth. 



HOMILY I. 

In the Beginning God made iJie Heaven and the 
Earth. 

I. It is right that any one beginning to 
narrate the formation of the world should 
begin with the good order which reigns in 
visible things. I am about to speak of the 
creation of heaven and earth, which was not 
spontaneous, as some have imagined, but 
drew its origin from God. What ear Is 
worthy to hear such a tale? How earnestly 
the soul should prepare itself to receive such 
high lessons! How pure it should be from 
carnal affections, how unclouded by worldly 
disquietudes, how active and ardent in its 
researches, how eager to find In its surround- 
ings an idea of God which mav be worthy 
of Him! 

But before weighing the justice of these 
remarks, before examining all the sense con- 
tained in these few words, let us see who 
addresses them to us. Because, if the weak- 
ness of our intelligence does not allow us to 
penetrate the depth of the thoughts of the 
writer, yet we shall be involuntarily drawn 
to give faith to his words by the force of his 
authority. Now it is Moses who has com- 
posed this history ; Moses, who, when still 
at the breast, is described as exceeding fair ;^ 
Moses, whom the daughter of Pharaoh adopt- 
cJ ; who received from her a royal education, 
an I who had for his teachers the wise men 
of Esfypt; ^ Moses, who disdained the pomp 
of royalty, and, to share the humble condi- 



tion of his compatriots, preferred to be per- 
secuted with the people of God rather than 
to enjoy the fleeting delights of sin ; Moses, 
who received from nature such a love of jus- 
tice that, even before the leadership of the 
people of God was committed to him, he 
was impelled, by a natural horror of evil, 
to pursue malefactors even to the point of 
punishing them by death ; Moses, who, ban- 
ished by those whose benefactor he had 
been, hastened to escape from the tumults of 
Egypt and took refuge in Ethiopia, living 
there far from former pursuits, and passing 
forty years In the contemplation of nature ; 
Moses, finally, who, at the age of eighty, saw 
God, as flir as It Is possible for man to see 
Him ; or rather as It had not previously been 
granted to man to see Lllm, according to the 
testimony of God Himself, *' If there be a 
prophet among you, I the Lord will make 
myself known unto him in a vision, and will 
speak unto him in a dream. My servant 
Moses is not so, who is faithful In all mine 
house, with him will I speak mouth to 
mouth, even apparently and not in dark 
speeches." ^ It is this man, whom God judged 
worthy to behold Him, face to face, liivc the 
angels, wlio imparts to us what he has 
learnt from God. Let us listen then to these 
words of truth written without the help of 
the "enticing words of man's wisdom " ° by 
the dictation of the Holy Spirit ;' words des- 
tined to produce not the applause of those 
who hear them, but the salvation of those 
who are Instructed by them. 



1 Tnst. Pat., Ed. B. Jungmann 1S90. -Acts vii. 2">, A.V. 

3 <:/", Joseph, ii.x. 2. So Justin M., CoAoW. at/ ^^«/., Philo, F/V. Jy<9r<^, and Clem. Al., Strom, i. Vide¥ia\on,Et. His*. 2,02, 

* Num. xii. 6, 7, S. 5 i Cor, ii. 4. 



THE HEXAEMERON 



53 



2. " In the beginning God created the 
heaven and the earth." ' I stop struck with 
admiration at this thought. VV^hat shall I 
first say? Where shall I begin my story? 
Shall I show forth the vanity of the Gentiles? 
Shall I exalt the truth of our faith? The 
philosophers of Greece iiave made much ado 
to explain nature, and not one of their sys- 
tems has remained firm and unshaken, each 
being overturned by its successor. It is vain 
to refute them ; they are sufficient in them- 
selves to destroy one another. Those who 
were too ignorant to rise to a knowledge of 
a God, could not allow that an intelligent 
cause presided at the birth of the Universe; 
a primary error that involved them in sad 
consequences. Some had recourse to ma- 
terial principles and attributed the origin of 
the Universe^ to the elements of the world. 
Others imagined that atoms, ^ and indivisible 
bodies, molecules and ducts, form, by their 
union, the nature of the visible world. Atoms 
reuniting or separating, produce births and 
deaths and the most durable bodies only owe 
their consistency to the strength of their 
mutual adhesion : a true spider's web woven 
by these writers who give to heaven, to earth, 
and to sea so weak an origin and so little con- 
sistency ! It is because they knew not how 
to say '' In the beginning God created the 
heaven and the earth." Deceived by their 
inherent atheism it appeared to them that 
nothing governed or ruled the universe, and 
that was all was given up to chance."* To 
guard us against this error the wn'iter on the 
creation, from the very first words, enlight- 
ens our understandinsf with the name of 
God ; "' In the beginning God created." 
What a glorious order ! He first estab- 
lishes a beginning, so that it might not be 
supposed that the world never had a begin- 
ning. Then he adds "Created" to show 
that that which was made was a very small 
part of the power of the Creator. In the 
same way that the potter, after having made 



1 Gen. i. i. 

2 cf. note on Letter viii. on the a-roLxe'a or elements which 
the Ionian philosophers made the aoxai of the universe. Vi'Je 
Plato, Le0ff. x. § 4 and Arist., Met. i. 3. 

3 Posidonius the Stoic names Moschus, or Mnchus of 
Sidon, as the orig^inator of the atomic theory "before the 
Trojan period." Vide Straho, xvi. 757. But the most famous 
Atomists, Leucippus and Democritus of Abdera, in the 5th c. 
B.C., arose in opposition to the Eieatic school, and were fol- 
lowed in the 3d by Epicurus. Vide Dioy. Laert. ix. § 30, sq. 
and Cicero, Z>^ Nat. Deor. i. 24-26. Ista enint jia^itia Demo- 
criti, sive etiam ante Leucippi, e.sse corpusctUa qucedam /(evia, 
alia aspera, rotunda alia^ partim aiitem a^igulata, ciirvata 
gucB.lam, et quasi adnnca : ex his effectum esse caelum atque 
terrain, nulla cogente vatura, sed co}icursu quodam foi-tuito. 
Atqut,si haec Democritea non audisset, qu{,i audierat f quid 
est in physicis Epictiri non a Democrito f Mam. d^i qucedam 
commodavit, ut, quod taulo ante d^ inclinatione atomorum 
dixi : ta-men pleraque dixit eaiem ; ntomos. inane, imagines, 
in^nitatrm Income, innnmerahilitatemque mundorunt eorum 
ortus interitus. om>n'a fere, quihus natures ratio continetur. 

* cf. the Fortuna gtihernans of Lucretius (v. 108). 



with equi'.l pains a great number of vessels, 
has not exhausted either his art or his 
talent; thus the Maker of the Universe, 
whose creative power, far from being bounded 
by one world, could extend to the infinite, 
needed only the impulse of His will to bring 
the immensities of the visible world into 
being. If then the world has a beginning, 
and if it has been created, enquire who gave 
it this beginning, and who was the Creator: 
or rather, in the fear that human reasonings 
may make you wander from the truth, Moses 
has anticipated enquiry by engraving in our 
hearts, as a seal and a safeguard, the awful 
name of God: "In tlie beginning God 
created " — It is He, beneficent Nature, Good- 
ness without measure, a worthy object of 
love for all beings endowed with reason, tlie 
beauty the most to be desired, the origin of 
all that exists, the source of life, intellectual 
light, impenetrable wisdom, it is He who 
" in the besfinninof created heaven and earth." 
3. Do not then imagine, O man ! that the 
visible world is without a beginning; and 
because the celestial bodies move in a circu- 
lar course, and it is difficult for our senses to 
define the point where the circle begins, do 
not believe that bodies impelled by a circular 
movement are, from their nature, without a 
beginning. Without doubt the circle (I mean 
the plane figure described by a single line) is 
beyond our perception, and it is impossible 
for us to find out w^here it begins or where it 
ends ; but we ought not on this account to 
believe it to be without a beginning. Al- 
though we are not sensible of it, it really 
begins at some point where the draughtsman 
has begun to draw it at a certain radius from 
the centre.^ Thus seeing that figures which 
move in a circle always return upon them- 
selves, without for a sino;le instant interrupt- 
ing the regularity of their course, do not 
vainly imagine to yourselves that the world 
has neither beginning nor end. "For the 
fashion of this world passeth away " ^ and 
" Heaven and earth shall pass away." ^ The 
dogmas of the end, and of the renewing of the 
world, are announced beforehand in these 
short words put at the head of the inspired 
history. " In the beginning God made." 
That which was begun in time is condeinned 
to come to an end in time. If there has been 
a beginning do not doubt of the end." Of 
what use then are geometry — the calcula- 
tions of arithmetic — the study of solids and 

ipialon refers to Aristotle ( I e Ccelo. i. 5) on the non-infini- 
tude of the circle, 'rhe conclusion is 'On /utv ovv to ku/cAu) 
/civou/ixei'oi' 0V(C i<jTLV aTeKevTqrov ovS' aneipoVf aW ^X^*- Te'Ao?, 
(})apfp6i>, 

2 J Cor. vii, 31. 3 Matt. xxiv. 35. 

*c/. Arist. JJe Ccelo. i. 12, 10 A^Ao*/ 6' brt Koi ei yevrjTov q 
<j>dapT6v, OVK aiBiov, 



54 



BASIL. 



far-famed astronomy, this laborious vanity, if 
those who pursue them imagine that this visi- 
ble world is co-eternal with the Creator of all 
things, with God Himself; if they attribute 
to tliis limited world, which has a material 
body, the same glory as to the incomprehen- 
sible and invisible nature ; if they cannot con- 
ceive that a whole, of which the parts are 
subject to conuption and change, must of 
necessity end by itself submitting to the fate 
of its parts? But they have become " vain 
in their imaginations and their foolish heart 
was darkened. Professing themselves to be 
wise, they became fools." ' Some have af- 
firmed that heaven co-exists with God from 
all eternity;^ others that it is God Himself 
without beginning or end^ and the cause of 
the particular arrangement of all things.^ 

4. One day, doubtless, their terrible con- 
demnation will be the greater for all this 
worldly wisdom, since, seeing so clearly into 
vam sciences, thev have wilfully shut their 
eyes to the knowledge of the truth. These 
men who measure the distances of the stare 
and describe them, both those of the North, 
alwaj^s shining brilliantly in oui view, and 
those of the southern pole visible to the 
inhabitants of the South, but unknown to us ; 
who divide the Northern zone and the circle 
of the Zodiac into an infinity of parts, who 
observe witli exactitude the course of the 
stars, their fixed places, their declensions, 
their return and the time that each takes to 
make its revolution ; these men, I say, have 
discovered all except one thing: the fact that 
God is the Creator of the universe, and the 
just Judge who rewards all the actions of 
life according to their merit. They have not 
known how to raise themselves to the idea 
of the consummation of all things, the con- 
sequence of tiie doctrine of judgment, and to 
see that the world must change if souls pass 
from this life to a new life. In reality, as the 
nature of the present life presents an affinity 
to this world, so in the future life our souls 
will enjoy a lot conformable to their new 
condition. But they are so far from apply- 
ing these truths, that they do but laugh when 

1 Rom. i. 21, 22. 

2 Arist., De Ccelo. ii. 1 . i. calls it els nal aiSios. cf. the end of 
the TimcEHS. 

3 cf. Cic, De lint. Deo. i. 14, " Cleanthes " (of Assos, c. 264 
B C, a disciple of Zeno) '^^ ant em turn ipsiim miindum Deiim 
dicit esse ; turn totiiis nattirce menti atque aiiimo tribiiit hoc 
nomen ; turn iiltimiim. et altissimiim, atque U7idiqiie circtim- 
ftisum, et extremtim, omnia cingentem atque comple.xum, 
ardorem, qui cether nomfnetur, ce^'tissimum Deum judical,^'' 
and id. 15, *'■ Chrysipptis'" (of Tarsus, tc. 212 H.C) . . . 
*' ipsum mundum Ueum dicit esse." Yet the Hymn 0/ Clean- 
thes (apud Stohoeum) be>j^ins : 

Kiifitcrr' aBavaTuiVf nokvuiuofjie, nayKpare^ aiel, 
2i€v<;, 'hvTeuo^ ao\riy€, vo/jlov /jLera nauTa Kv^epvMv. 

cf. Orig., v. Celsum V. (ratfiih^ 6rj tou oAov koo-uou (''E^ATJ^c?^ 

kiyovaiv etvai Ofou, ^Twixol /u.ei/ TOf jrp'iTOi' . oi 8' ana nAarfoi'o? 

rbv SevTipov, nj'es S* avriiv top Tpirov; and Athan,, De Incarn. 

§2. 



we announce to them the end of all things 
and the regeneration of the age. Since the 
beginning naturally precedes that which is 
derived from it, the writer, of necessity, 
when speaking to us of things which had 
their origin in time, puts at the head of his 
narrative these words — "In the beginning 
God created." 

5. It appears, indeed, that even before 
this world an order of things * existed of 
which our mind can form an idea, but of 
which we can say nothing, because it is too 
lofty a subject for men who are but begin- 
ners and are still babes in knowledge. The 
birth of the world was preceded by a condi- 
tion of things suitable for the exercise of su- 
pernatural powers, outstripping the limits of 
time, eternal and infinite. The Creator and 
Demiurge of the universe perfected His works 
in it, spiritual light for the happiness of all 
who love the Lord, intL^Uectual and invisible 
natures, all the orderly arrangement ^ of pure 
intelligences who are beyond the reach of 
our mind and of whom we cannot even dis- 
cover the names. They fill the essence of 
this invisible world, as Paul teaches us. 
"For by him were all things created that 
are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible 
and invisible whether they be thrones or do- 
minions or principalities or powers " ^ or 
virtues or hosts of angels or the dignities of 
archangels. To this world at last it was 
necessary to add a new world, both a 
school and training place where the souls 
of men should be taught and a home for 
beings destined to be born and to die. Thus 
was created, of a nature analogous to that 
of this world and the animals and plants 
which live thereon, the succession of time, 
for ever pressing on and passing away 
and never stopping in its course. Is not 
this the- nature of time, where the past is 
no more, the future does not exist, and the 
present escapes before being recognised? 
And such also is the nature of the creature 
which lives in time, — condemned to grow or 
to perish without rest and without ceitain sta- 
bility. It is therefore fit that the bodies of 
animals and plants, obliged to follow a sort of 
current, and carried away by the motion which 
leads them to birth or to death, should live 
in the midst of surroundings whose nature is 
in accord with beings subject to change."* 

' cf. Origen, De Principiis, ii. i, 3. 

2i)i,a»c6T;u.r)trt?. cf. Aiist., Met. i.J, 2. 

sCoi.i. 16. 

* cf. Plato, TimcBUS, § 14, ;^p6p'os 6' ovv ner* ovpavov ■yeyorev 
iVa a/aa yewprjOepre^ aixa Kai Aud'ocrtv, av nore Avert? T15 avTtoi/ 
yiyvr)TaL koI Kard. to napadeiyaa t^? ai(ovla<; ^ucreco? tv, co? oiuoid- 
TttTO? aiiTu) /card ^Ufttjaiv 77. Fialon {]). 311) qu'^tes Couf^in's 
translation at greater length, and refers also to Plotinus, Enn. 
Il.vii. 10-12. The parallel transiloriness of time and thing's 
has become the commonplace of poets. '• Immortalia ne 



THE HEXAEMERON. 



55 



Thus the writer who wisely tells us of the 
birth of the Universe does not fail to put 
these words at the head of the narrative. 
''In the beginnin<2^ God created;" that is to 
say, in the beginning of time. Therefore, 
if he makes the world appear in the begin- 
ning, it is not a proof that its birth has pre- 
ceded that of all other things that were made. 
He onlv wishes to tell us that, after the in- 
visible and intellectual world, the visible 
world, the world of the senses, began to 
exist. 

The first movement is called beginning. 
"• To do right is the beginning of the good 
way." ' Just actions arc truly the first steps 
towards a happy life. Again, we call '^ be- 
ginning " the essential and first part from 
which a thii:g proceeds, such as the foundation 
of a house, the keel of a vessel; it is in this 
sense that it is said, ''The fear of the Lord 
is the beginning of wisdom," ^ that is to say 
that piety is, as it were, the groundwork 
and foundation of perfection. Art is also 
the beginning of the works of artists, the 
skill of Bezaleel began the adornment of the 
tabernacle.^ Often even the good which is 
the final cause is the beginnmg of actions. 
Thus the approbation of God is the begin- 
ning of almsgiving, and the end laid up 
for us in the promises the beginning of all 
virtuous efibrts. 

6. Such being the different senses of the 
word beginning, see if we have not all 
the meanings here. You may know the 
epoch when the formation of this world 
began, if, ascending into the past, you en- 
deavour to discover the first day. You will 
thus find what was the first movement of 
time; then that the creation of the heavens 
and of the earth were like the foundation 
and the groundwork, and afterwards that an 
intelligent reason, as the word beginning in- 
dicates, presided in the order of visible 
things.^ You will finally discover that the 
world was not conceived by chance and 
without reason, but for an useful end and for 
the great advantage of all beings, since 
it is really the school where reasonable souls 

speres monet annus et almum ^uce rapit hora diem.''* Hor., 
Carin. iv. 7. 

1 Prov. xvi, 5. LXX. 2 Prov, ix. 10. 

3 c/. Ar'ist., Met. iv. I. ' hpxv V t^^^ Ae-yerai oOev av tl tov 
Trpiy.aaTO? /ctvrjSeirj nptarov olov tov /aijKOU?, Kat bSov . • . 17 6e 
'60€v av /caAAtcTTa ^KacTov yeVoiTO • oloi' /cat fj.aQr\<Te(ii<;, ovk ciTrb tov 
npjjTOv KOL T^? ToO TTpay^ttTO? apx^? ivioTe apKTeov, aAA' o^ei' 
pacrr' av /ua0oi, 17 8e, 60e^' TrpwTOv yiverai evvrrdpxovTO<; • olov ws 
TrAotou TpOTTt?, Kal o/Ki'a? feiueAio?. 

4 In the Homily of Origen extant in the Latin of Rufinus 
(Migne Pat. Gr. xii. 146) aoxh is used of the Divine Word, 
*^' In principio. ^tiod est omnium principitim nisi Dominus 
noster Christus Jesus ? . . . In hoc erg» principio, hoc est in 

Verbo suo, Deus ccelum et terram fecit:' An interpretation 
of John viii. 25, ti\v apxqv on Kal AaAw vp.iv widely prevalent at 
all events in the T.atin church, was ^' Initiwn quod et ioquor 
vohis ;" " I am the Beginning, that which I am even saying 
to you." See note to Sp. Comment, on John viii. ad fin. 



exercise themselves, the training giound 
where they learn to know God ; since by 
the sight of visible and sensible things the 
mind is leci, as by a hand, to the contem- 
plation of invisible things. " For," as the 
Apostle says, '^ the invisible things of him 
from the creation of the world are clearly 
seen, being understood by the things that 
are made." ' Perhaps these words *' In tiie 
beginning God created " signify the rapid 
and imperceptible moment of creation. Ihe 
beginning, in eflect, is indivisible and in- 
stantaneous. The beginning of the road is 
not yet the road, and that of the house is 
not yet the house ; so the beginning of time 
is not yet time and not even the least par- 
ticle of It. If some objector tell us that the 
beginning is a time, he ought then, as he 
knows well, to submit it to the division of 
time — a beginning, a middle and an end. 
Now it is ridiculous to imagine a beginning 
of a beginning. Further, if we divide the 
beginning into two, we make two instead of 
one, or rather make several, we really make 
an infinity, for all that which is divided is 
divisible to the infinite." Thus then, if it is 
said, '' In the beginning God created," it is 
to teach us that at the will of God the world 
arose in less than an instant, and it is to 
convey this meaning more clearly that other 
interpreters have said : " God made summa- 
rily " that is to say all at once and in a 
moment."' But enougii concerning the be- 
ginning, if only to put a few points out of 
many. 

7. Among arts, some liave in view pro- 
duction, some practice, others theory.* The 
object of the last is the exercise of thought, 
that of the second, the motion of the body. 
Should it cease, all stops ; nothing more is 
to be seen. Thus dancing and music have 
nothing behind; they have no object bu4: 
themselves. In creative arts on the con- 
trary the work lasts after the operation. 
Such is architecture — such are the arts 
which work in wood and brass and weav- 
ing, all those indeed which, even when the 
artisan has disappeared, serve to show an 
industrious intelligence and to cause the 
architect, the worker in brass or the weaver, 
to be admired on account of his work. 
Thus, then, to show that the world is a 
work of art displayed for the beholding of 
all people ; to make them know Him who 

^ Rom. i. 20. 

2 On the incojiceivability either of an absolute miniinuin of 
space or of its infinite divisibility, cf. Sir Win. Hamilton, Met. 
ii.371. 

^ Aquila's version in the Hexapla of Origan for kv apxTi has 
ei' Ke(f)a\ai(^ eKTLcreu. 

4 T) airatra didvota r) TrpaKTiKJj t} ttohjtik/j rj SewpTjTi/c^. Aribt., 
Met. V. i. 



56 



BASIL. 



created it, Moses docs not use another word. 
*' In the beginning," he says *'God cre- 
ated." He does not say " God worked," 
•* God formed," but '' God created." Among 
those who have imagined that the world 
co-existed with God from all eternity, many 
have denied that it was created by God, but 
say that it exists spontaneously, as the 
shadow of this power. God, they say, is 
the cause of it, but an involuntary cause, as 
the body is the cause of the shadow and the 
flame is the cause of the brightness.* It is 
to correct this error that the prophet states, 
with so much precision, ^'- In the beginning 
God created." He did not make the thing 
itself the cause of its existence.^ Being 
good. He made it an useful work. Being 
wise. He made it everything that was most 
beautiful. Being powerful He made it very 
great. ^ Moses almost shows us the finger 
of the supreme artisan taking possession of 
the substance of the universe, forming the 
diflerent parts in one perfect accord, and 
making a harmonious symphony result from 
the whole.* 

" In the beginning God made lieaven and 
earth." By naming the two extremes, he 
suggests the substance of the whole world, 
accorditig to heaven the privilege of senior- 
ity, and putting earth in the second rank. 
All intermediate beings were created at the 
same time as the extremities. Thus, al- 
though there is no mention of the elements, 
fire, water and air,^ imagine that they were 
all compounded together, and you will fmd 
wat^jr, air and fire, in the earth. For fire 
leaps out from stones ; iron which is dug 
iVom the earth produces under friction fire 
in plentiful measure. A marvellous fact! 
Fire shut up in bodies lurks there hidden 
without harming them, but no sooner is it re- 
leased than it consumes that which has hither- 
to preserved it. The earth contains water, 
as diggers of wells teach us. It contains 



1 " The ofie and the perfect continually overflows, and from 
it Being-, Reason, and Life are perpetually derived, without 
deducting anything from its substance, "inasmuch as it is 
simple in 'ts nature, and not, like matter, compound. {Enn, 
vi. ix. 9.} This derivation of all things from unity does not 
resemble ^.reation, which has reference to time, but takes place 
purely in conformity with the principles of causality and 
order, without volition, i>ecause to will is to change. \E71n. 
iv. 5, i. 6.) " Tennemann on Plotinus, //r.s7. Phil. § 207. 

2 Tlie Ben. note is " neqiie idipsum in causa fuit cur esset, 
hoc est, }ion res cceca, nan res coacta, non res invite et prceter 
voliintatem agens in causa fuit cur mundus exstiterit. Hoc 
iffitur die it Basilius Deum aliter agere atque corpora opaca 
ant lucida. Nam corp'is producit umbram vi atque necessi 
tate, nee liber ius agit corpus lucidtim : Deus vero omnia 
nutu conficit et voliintale. Illud eTrotTjo-er, etc.. alio modo in- 
tellexit et interpretatus est Eustathius. Illius subjicimus 
verba : non causam prcestiiit ut esset solum, sed fecit iit bonus 
utilem.''^ 

3 cf. Plat., Tltn. § 10. 'Aya^b? r]Vy a.yo.QCy fie ovSct? irepl ovSevos 
ouSe'TToTe kyyiyveTa.1 <pd6i'o<;, tovtov 6' e/crbs uiu navTa oti jxaKiaTa 
yevecrOmi f3ov\ri9r} rraoaTrArjcrta eauToj, 

4 r/. Huxley, Lay Sermons, xii. p. 2S6, on the "delicate 
fingt-r " of the " hidden artist" in the changes in an egg. 

° cf. note on Letter viii. 



air too, as is shown by the vapours that 
it exhales under the sun's warmth * when it 
is damp. Now, as according to their nature, 
heaven occupies the higher and earth the 
lower position in space, (one sees, in fact, 
that all which is light ascends towards 
heaven, and heavy substances fall to the 
ground) ; as therefore height and depth are 
the points the most opposed to each other it 
is enougli to mention the most distant parts 
to signify the inclusion of all which fills up 
intervening space. Do not ask, then, for 
an enmneration of all the elements; guess, 
from what Holy Scripture indicates, all that 
is passed over in silence. 

8. " In the beginning God created the 
heaven and the earth." If we were to wish to 
discover the essence of each of the beings 
which are offered for our contemplation, or 
come under our senses, we should be drawn 
aw^ay into long digressions, and the solution 
of the problem would require more words 
than I possess, to examine fully the matter. 
To spend time on such points would not prove 
to be to the edification of the Church. Upon 
the essence of the heavens we are contented 
with what Isaiah says, for, in simple language, 
he gives us sufficient idea of their nature, 
"The heaven was made like smoke,'' ^ that 
is to say, He created a subtle substance, 
without solidity or density, from which to 
form the heavens. As to the form of them 
we also content ourselves with the lanofuas^e 
of the same prophet, when praising God 
'• that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain 
and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell 
in." ^ In the same way, as concerns the 
earth, let us resolve not to torment ourselves 
by trying to find out its essence, not to tire 
our reason by seeking for the substance 
which it conceals. Do not let us seek for any 
nature devoid of qualities by the conditions 
of its existence, but let us know that all the 
phenomena with which we see it clothed 
regard the conditions of its existence and com- 
plete its essence. Try to take away by reason 
each of the qualities it possesses, and you 
will arrive at nothing. Take away black, 
cold, weight, density, the qualities which 
concern taste, in one word all tliese which 
we see in it, and the substance vanishes.* 

'^ (jyafxev Se irvp KaX aepa kol vSojp yiyvecrOai i^ dAAyjAaji/ ki.i 
e/cacTTOi' ev eicdcrTuy vndpyeLu tovtuiu Svi/daei, Arist., Meteor, i. 3. 

2Isa. li.6, LXX. 3 isa. xl. 22, LXX. 

* Fialon points to the coincidence with Arist., Met. vii. 3. 
'AAAa ii.y]v 6.^cx.ipovp.ivov p.r\KOV<; (cal ttAoitou? Kal ^dOov;, ovSzy 
opcoju.ei' vnoXeLTToixevov nKr^v et ti ecrrl to bpt^ofxevov utto toutojv, cocrre 
Tr)^ iJKrjv dudyKT) (f)alwe(TdaL (xouriv oixriav ovtw o'KOTTOvju.ei'oc?. Ae'yco 
6' vXrju Yj Ka9' a\)Tr\v fJ-rfre ri, /txrjre noo'oi', fJ.rJTe aAAo fxriSev Ae'yerat 
019 coptcrrai to ou • ecrrt yftp tl Ka9' ov /caTTjyopeiTai toutwi' e/cacrToi', 
w Tb elvai, erepop, koI TUiv Karriyopeciiv k<d(TTy]. Td fx'ev yip aAAa 
Tr\ii ovcria'; KaTrjyopeiTat • auTTj Se, T»)? vArj?. 'flcTTe to ecr^^aroi', 
Ka9* avTO oure tI, outc noabv, ovre aAAo ovSiy icmv • ou6e Sri ai 
a7ro(f)dcrets. 



THE HEXAEMERON. 



57 



If I ask you to leave these vain questions, 
I will not expect you to try and find out the 
earth's point of support. The mind would 
reel on beholding its reasonings losing them- 
selves w^ithout end. Do you say that the 
earth reposes on a bed of air ? ^ How, 
then, can this soft substance, without 
consistency, resist the enormous weight 
which presses upon it.? How is it that it 
does not slip away in all directions, to avoid 
the sinking weight, and to spread itself over 
the mass which overwhelms it? Do you 
suppose that water is the foundation of the 
earth .?^ You will then always have to ask 
yourself how it is that so heavy and opaque 
a body does not pass through the water ; how 
a mass of such a weight is held up by a 
nature weaker than itself. Then you must 
seek a base for the w^aters, and you will be 
in much difficulty to say upon what the 
water itself rests. 

9. Do you suppose that a heavier body 
nrevents the earth from fallingr into the 
abyss? Then you must consider that this 
support needs itself a support to prevent it 
from falling. Can we imagine one.? Our 
reason again demands yet another support, 
and thus we shall fall into the infinite, always 
imagining a base for the base which we have 
already found. ^ And the further we advance 
in this reasoning the greater force we are 
obliged to give to this base, so that it may be 
able to support all the mass weighing upon 
it. Put then a limit to your thought, so that 
your curiosity in investigating the incompre- 
hensible may not incur the reproaches of 
Job, and you be not asked by him, "• Where- 
upon are the foundations thereof fastened ?" ^ 
If ever you hear in the Psalms, " I bear up 
the pillars of it ; " ^ see in these pillars the 
power which sustains it. Because what 
means this other passage, " He hath 
founded it upon the sea,"^ if not that the 
water is spread all around the earth? How 
then can water, the fluid element which flows 
down every declivity, remain suspended 
without ever flowing? You do not reflect 
that the idea of the earth suspended by it- 
self throws your reason into a like but even 
greater difficulty, since from its nature it is 



1 cf. Arist., De Ccs/o. ii. 13, 16, 'A^a^tjaeVrj? Se Ka'i 'Ava^dyo 
piq Kol ArjixoKpLTO'; to TiAaTO? aLTtov eluai (fiaai. Toii ixeveiv avTriv • 
ov yap Teixveiu aW enLnwixaTL^eti' (covers like a lid) tov aepa 
Tor KOLTujOei', oTTep (jyait'erai Td ttAcito? e;^oi'Ta tmv criofjiaTiov noLeiv. 

2 The theory of Th;iles. cf. note on Le^iervui. 2 and Arist., 
Df Crelo. ii. 13, 13, where he speaks of Thales describing the 
earth floating- lik«^ wood on water, 

3 cf. Arist., Df Ccvlo. ii. 13 (Grote's tr.) : "The Kolophonian 
Xenophanes aftirined th^it the lower depths of the earth were 
rooted downwirds to infinity, in order to escape the trouble- 
some obligation of looking tor a reason why it remained sta- 
tionary." To this Empedokles objected, and suggested 
velocity of rotation for the cause of the earth's maintaining its 
position 

< jo.) xxxviii. 6. 6 ps. Ixxv, 3, ^ Ps. xxiv. 2. 



heavier. But let us admit that the earth 
rests upon itself, or let us say that it rides on 
the waters, we must still remain faithful to 
thought of true reliofion and recoofnise that 
all is sustained by the Creator's power. Let 
us then reply to ourselves, and let us reply 
to those who ask us upon what support this 
enormous mass rests, '^ In His hands are the 
ends of the earth." ' It is a doctrine as in- 
fallible for our own information as profitable 
for our hearers. 

10. There are inquirers into nature^ who 
with a great display of words give reasons 
for the immobility of the earth. Placed, they 
say, in the middle of the universe and not 
beinnf able to incline more to one side than 
the other because its centre is everywhere 
the same distance from the surface, it neces- 
sarily rests upon itself; since a weight which 
is everywhere equal cannot lean to either 
side. It is not, they go on, without reason 
or by chance that the earth occupies the 
centre of the universe. It is its natural and 
necessary position. As the celestial body 
occupies the higher extremity of space all 
heavy bodies, they argue, that we may sup- 
pose to have fallen from these high regions, 
will be cnrrled from all directions to the 
centre, and the point towards which the 
parts are tending will evidently be the one to 
which the whole inass will be thrust together. 
If stones, wood, all terrestrial bodies, fall from 
above downwards, this must be the proper 
and natural place of the whole earth. If, 
on the contrary, a light body is separated 
from the centre, it is evident that it will 
ascend towards the higher regions. Thus 
heavy bodies move from the top to the bot- 
tom, and f(jllowing this reasoning, the bot- 
tom is none other than the centre of the 
world. Do not then be surprised that the 
world never falls : it occupies the centre of 
the universe, its natural place. By all 
necessity it is obliged to remain in its place, 
unless a movement contrary to nature should 
displace it.^ If there is anything in this 
system which might appear probable to you, 
keep your admiration for the source of such 
perfect order, for the wisdom of God. Grand 
phenomena do not strike us the less when 
we have discovered something of their 

•wonderful mechanism. Is it otherwise here ? 
At all events let us pr-^fer the simplicity of 
faith to the demonstrations of reason. 

11. We might say the same thing of the 

1 Ps. xcv. 4, LXX. 

2 oi <\)V(nKo\ was the name given to the Ionic and other phi- 
iosophers who preceded Socrates. Lucian {Ner, 4) calia 
Thales </>u(Ti<iA>TaT09. 

3 cf. De Ccelo. ii. 14, 4. 'Ert 6' r; ^opH tmv fxopioiv Ka'i cArj? 
a\JTrj<; »j KaTcl </)i)(Tiv ent to fxecrov toO Trai'TOS eo'TiJ', 6id. toOto Yclp 
Kttl TU"y;:^di'et Keifj.evrj vvv enl roii Kevrpov, 



58 



BASIL. 



heavens. With what a noise of words the sages 
of this world have discussed their nature ! 
Some have said that heaven is composed of 
four elementsas being tangible and visible, and 
is made up of earth on account of its power 
of resistance, with fire because it is striking 
to the eye, with air and water on account of 
the mixture.' Others have rejected this sys- 
tem as improbable, and introduced into the 
world, to form the heavens, a fifth element 
after their own fashioning. There exists, 
they say, an aethereal body which is neither 
fire, air, earth, nor water, nor in one word 
any simple body. These simple bodies have 
their own natural motion in a straight line, 
light bodies upwards and heavy bodies down- 
wards; now this motion upwards and down- 
w^ards is not the same as circular motion ; 
there is the greatest possible difference be- 
tween straight and circular motion. It 
therefore follows that bodies whose motion 
is so various must vary also in their essence. 
But, it is not even possible to suppose that 
the heavens should be formed of primitive 
bodies which we call elements, because the 
reunion of contrary forces could not produce 
an even and spontaneous motion, when 
each of the simple bodies is receiving a 
difterent impulse from nature. Thus it is a 
labour to maintain composite bodies in con- 
tinual movement, because it is impossible to 
put even a single one of their movements 
in accord and hannony with all those that 
are in discord ; since what is proper to the 
light particle, is in warfare with that of a 
heavier one. If we attempt to rise we are 
stopped by the weight of the terrestrial ele- 
ment; if we throw ourselves down we 
violate the igneous part of our being in 
dragging it down contrary to its nature. 
Now this struggle of the elements effects 
their dissolution. A body to which violence 
is done and which is placed in opposition to 
nature, after a short but energetic resistance, 
is soon dissolved into as many parts as it had 
elements, each of the constituent parts return- 
ing to its natural place. It is the force of 
these reasons, say the inventors of the fifth 
kind of body for the genesis of heaven and 
the stars, which constrained them to reject 
the system of their predecessors and to have 
recourse to their own hypothesis.^ But 



1 This is the doctrine of Plato vide Tim. The Combef. 
MSS. reads not M-'fi?, mixture, but /ueOe^i?, participation. 

2 Here appears to be a reference to Arist., De Gen.Ayin. ii. 
3, 1 1, Tracrrj? \x.iv ovv \\ivyy]<i fivi'ajLti? erepoi' (rui/aaTOS eotxe /ce/coii'ioi'rj- 
Kiva.\. Koi OiLorepov too*' /caAou/txeVwv cTTOixetwf " ti>S 5e St.a(/)epoucrt 
TtjLtiOTTjTt ai. ipvxfi^ 'cat arijaia aWrjXuii' ovTUi Kal rj TOtavTr) 6ia(/)epei 
<t>v<Tt<;, and ag'ain. nvevixa . . . apaXoyov ovcra T(i tCju aarputv 
(TTOLxeiui. On the fifth element of Aristotle cf. Cic, Tunc. Disp. 
i. lo. Aristoteles . . . cum quatiior ilia genera prittcipiormn 
erat complexus. eqnibtis omnia orirentur, qiiintam quondam 
naturam censet esse, equa sit mens. A\\\i.,De Civ. Dei xxii. ii. 
3, and Cudworlh's Jnt. Syst. (Harrison's Ed. 1S45) iii. p. 465. 



yet another fine speaker arises and disperses 
and destroys this theory to give predomi- 
nance to an idea of his own invention. 

Do not let us undertake to follow them for 
fear of falling into like frivolities; let them 
refute each other, and, without disquieting 
ourselves about essence, let us say with 
Moses '' God created the heavens and the 
earth." Let us glorify the supreme Artificer 
for all that was wisely and skillfully made ; 
by the beauty of visible things let us raise 
ourselves to Him who is above all beaut}- ; 
by the grandeur of bodies, sensible and 
limited in their nature, let us conceive of 
the infinite Being whose immensity and 
omnipotence surpass all the efforts of the 
imagination. Because, although we ignore 
the nature of created things, the objects 
which on all sides attract our notice are so 
marvellous, that the most penetrating mind 
cannot attain to the knowledge of the least 
of the phenomena of the world, either to 
give a suitable explanation of it or to render 
due praise to the Creator, to Whom belong 
all glory, all honour and all power world 
without end. Amen. 



HOMILY II. 

" The earth was invisible and unfinished^ ' 

I. In the few words which have occupied 
us this morning we have foimd such a depth 
of thought that we despair of penetrating 
further. If such is the fore court of the 
sanctuary, if the portico of the temple is so 
grand and magnificent, if the splendour of its 
beauty thus dazzles the eyes of the soul, 
what will be the holy of holies.^ Who will 
dare to try to gain access to the innermost 
shrine? Who will look into its secrets.? To 
gaze into it is indeed forbidden us, and lan- 
guage is powerless to express what the mind 
conceives. However, since there are re- 
wards, and most desirable ones, reserved by 
the just Judge for the intention alone of 
doing good, do not let us hesitate to continue 
our researches. Although we may not at- 
tain to the truth, if, with the help of the 

Hence the word "quintessence," for which the Dictionaries 
quote Howard's Translation of Plutarch^ " Aristoteles hath 
put . . . for elements foure; and ff)r a fifth quintessence, 
the heavenly body which is immutable." Skeat s. v. points 
out that "the idea is older than Aristotle: r/". the five Skt. 
hhutas, or elements, which were earth, air, fire, and water, and 
iether. Thus the fifth essence is lether, the subtlest and hiy;!!- 
est." It is evident that Milton had these theories in mind 
when he wrote {Par. Lost, iii. 716) ; 

" Swift to their several quarters hasted then 
The cumbrous elements, earth, flood, air, fire; 
And this ethereal quintessence of heaven 
Flew upward, spirited with various forms, 
That rolled orbicular, and turned to stars 
Numberless." 

I Gen. i. 2, LXX. 



THE HEXAEMERON. 



59 



Spirit, we do not fall away from the meaning 
of Holy Scripture we shall not deserve to be 
rejected, and, with the help of grace, we 
shall contribute to the edification of the 
Church of God. 

"- The earth," says Holy Scripture, " was 
invisible and unfinished." The heavens and 
the earth were created without distinction. 
How then is it that the heavens are perfect 
whilst the earth is still unformed and incom- 
plete ? In one word, what was the unfinished 
condition of the earth ? And for what reason 
was it invisible.^ The fertility of the earth 
is its perfect finishing; grow^th of all kinds 
of plants, the upspringing of tall trees, both 
productive and sterile, fliowers* sweet scents 
and fair colours, and all that which, a little 
later, at the voice of God came forth from the 
earth to beautify her, their universal Mother. 
As nothing of all this yet existed, Scripture 
is rio^ht in callinof the earth "without form." 
We could also say of the heavens that they 
were still imperfect and had not received 
their natural adornment, since at that time 
they did not shine with the glory of the sun 
and of the moon and were not crowned by the 
choirs of the stars. ^ These bodies were not 
yet created. Thus you will not diverge from 
the truth in saying that the heavens also were 
'' without form." The earth was invisible 
for two reasons : it may be because man, the 
spectator, did not yet exist, or because being 
submcrcred under the waters which over- 
flowed the siu'face, it could not be seen, 
since the waters had not yet been gathered 
together into their own places, where God 
afterwards collected them, and gave them the 
name of seas. What is invisible? First of 
all that which our fleshly eye cannot per- 
ceive ; oiu' mind, for example ; then that 
which, visible in its nature, is hidden by 
some body which conceals it, like iron in the 
depths of the earth. It is in this sense, be- 
cause it was hidden under the w^aters, that 
the earth was still invisible. However, as 
light did not yet exist, and as the earth lay 
in darkness, because of the obscurity of the 
air above it, it should not astonish us that for 
this reason Scripture calls it " invisible." 

2. But the corrupters of the truth, who, 
incapable of submitting their reason to Holy 
Scripture, distort at will the meaning of 
the Holy Scriptures, pretend that these 
words mean matter. For it is matter, they 
say, which from its nature is without form 
and invisible, — being by the conditions of 
its existence without quality and without form 



1 cf. Horn., //. xviii. 4S5, ei' 8e tSl reipea iravra to. t* owpavb? 
co-T€(/)ai'WTai, and Tennyson's "When youn^ niid;-ht divine 
crowned dying- day with stars." {^Palace of ArL) 



and figure.^ The Artificer submitting it to 
the working- of His wisdom clothed it with a 
form, organized it, and thus gave being to 
the visible world. 

If matter is uncreated, it has a claim to tlie 
same honours as God, since it must be of 
equal rank with Him. Is this not the 
summit of wickedness, that an extreme do- 
formity, without quality, without form, shape, 
ugliness without configuration, to use their 
own expression, should enjoy the same pre- 
rogatives with Him, Who is wisdom, 
power and beauty itself, the Creator and the 
Demiurge of the universe.^ This is not all. 
If matter is so great as to be capable of being 
acted on by the whole wisdom of God, it 
would in a way raise its h3q:)0stasis to an 
equality with the inaccessible power of God, 
since it would be able to measure by itself all 
the extent of the divine intelligence. If it is 
insufficient for the operations of God, then 
we fall into a more absurd blasphemy, since 
we condemn God for not being able, on ac- 
count of the want of matter, to finish His own 
works. The poverty of human nature has 
deceived these reasoners. Each of our crafts 
is exercised upon some special matter — the 
art of the smith upon iron, that of the car- 
penter on wood. In all, there is the subject, 
the form and the work which results from the 
f)rm. Matter is taken from without — art 
gives the form — and the work is composed 
at the same time of form and of matter.^ 

Such Is the idea that they make for them- 
selves of the divine work. The form of the 
world is due to the wisdom of the supreme 
Artificer; matter came to the Creator from 
without; and thus the world results from a 
double origin. It has received from outside 
its matter and its essence, and from God its 
form and figure.^ They thus come to deny 
that the mighty God has presided at the 
formation of the universe, and pietend that 
He has only brought a crowning contribution 
to a common work, that He has only con- 
tributed some small portion to the genesis of 
beinsj^s : they are incapable from the debasc- 

1 On prime matter and its beingf da-w(u,aT09 and afjiop4>o<; vioe 
Cudworth, Int. Sysf. v. ii. § 27, and Mosheim's note. *' Ingais 
vera quondam siimmoriim et iiiclytorufn viroru7n ntimerus ab 
corunt semper stet it partibus, qtiibus ex qua dixi ratione, ma- 
ter iam placuit decernere aa-iOiJ.aToi' esse, sive cor pore car err 
Cicero omnes post Platonem philosophos hoc dog'ma perhihet 
tenidsse, Acad, ^ucest. i. 7, ' sed subjeclom putant omnibus sine 
2illa specie, atque carentem omni ilia qualitate moteriaiii 
quandain ex qica omnia expressa atque ejfecta sint.' Sed jam 
din ante Platonem Pythagorceorum multi ei addicti fucrunt, 
quod ex Timaei Locri, nodilis hujus scliolce et perantiqui plii- 
losophi, De Anima Mundi libello {Cap. i.p.^44, Ed. Galei) 
i7ttelligitur : tSlv ij\ap afxoo<f)Oi^ 6i kolO' avTilv /cat a^^prj/xaTtCTTOi' 
6e;(6jU.ev'o»' 6e naaav /u.op(/)ai'." 

2 c/. Arist., Afet. vi. 7, ndyTa* 8e tSl yiyvoiu-eva vno re tivo? 
■yiyverai, Kal ex Tii'O?, KaX ri , . . to 6e e^ OX) yiyviTai, r]v kiyoixev 
v\r]v . . . TO 6e ut^' ov, tiov <}>v(T€l ti byTUiv • . . etfio; Se Aeyw to Tt >j«' 
eipat eKOLCTTOv, KaX ttjx/ irpuJTTji' o^'cria-^. 

3 cf. Cudworth, Int. Syst. iv. 6, and remarks there on Cic, 
Acad. ^u(sst. i. 6. Arist. {Metaph. i. 2) says 0eb? vdp fio^ei to 
airtoj' Tia.<TKV ctj'at Kol opx'/ '^^'*% t>"^ does this refer only to form? 



60 



BASIL. 



ment of iheirreasonings of raising thelrglances 
to the height of truth. Here below arts are 
subsequent to matter — introduced into life 
by t'.ie indispensable need of them. Wool 
existed before weaving made it supply one 
of nature's imperfections. Wood existed be- 
fore carpentering took possession of it, and 
transformed it each day to supply new wants, 
and made us see all the advantages derived 
from it, giving the oar to the sailor, the 
winnowing fan to the labourer, the lance to 
the soldier. But God, before all those things 
which now attract our notice existed, after 
casting about in His mind and determining 
to bring into being that which had no being, 
imagined the world such as it ought to be, 
and created matter in harmony with the form 
which He wished to give it.^ He assigned 
to the heavens the nature adapted for the 
heavens, and gave to the earth an essence in 
accordance with its form. He formed, as He 
wished, fire, air and water, and gave to each 
the essence which the object of its existence 
required. Finally, He welded all the diverse 
parts of the universe by links of indissoluble 
attachment and established between them so 
perfect a fellowship and harmony that the 
most distant, in spite of their distance, ap- 
peared united in one universal sympathy. 
Let those men therefore renounce their fabu- 
lous imaginations, who, in spite of the weak- 
ness of their argument, pretend to measure a 
power as incomprehensible to man's reason 
as it is unutterable by man's voice. 

3. God created the heavens and the earth, 
but not only half; — -He created all the 
heavens and all the earth, creating the 
essence with the form. For He is not an in- 
ventor of figures, but the Creator even of the 
essence of beings. Further let them tell us 
how the efficient power of God could deal 
with the passive nature of matter, the lat- 
ter furnishing the matter without form, the 
former possessing the science of the form 
without matter, both being in need of each 
other; the Creator in order to display His 
art, matter in order to cease to be without 
form and to receive a form.^ But let us stop 
here and return to our subject. 

^ Gen. ii. 5, " every herb of the field before it grezvy There 
seems here an indication of the actual creation, jrotTjo-i?, being 
in the mind of God. 

2 Ki lion quotes Bossuet : " Je ne trouve point que Di'eii, 
qui a cree toutes choses, ait eu besoin, comme un otivrier vul- 
g'aire, de trouver une matiere preparce stir laquelle il trav- 
ailldty et de laquelle il dlt son oiivrage. Mais, n'' ay ant 
besoin pour agir que de lui-meme et de sa propre puissance il a 
fait tout son ouvragc. II n'' est point un simple faiseur de 
formes et de figures dans une matirre preexistante ; il a fait 
et la matiere et la forme, c' est a-d ire son ouvrage dans so7i 
tout ; autrement son ouvrage ne lui doit pas tout, et dans son 
fond il est indcpendam^nent de son ouvrier. . . . 

" O Dieu quelle a He P ignorance des sages du monde, qu''on 
a appeh'S philosophes d^ avoir cru que vous, parfait architecte 
et absolu formateur de tout ce qui est, vous aviez trouve soics 
vos mains une matiere qui vous otait co-eternelle, inforjne 



" The earth was invisible and unjin- 
ishedr In saying *' In the beginning God 
created the heavens and the earth," tiie 
sacred writer passed over many things in 
silence, water, air, fire and the results from 
them, which, all forming in reality the true 
complement of the world, were, without 
doubt, made at the same time as the universe. 
By this silence, history wishes to train the 
activity of our intelligence, giving it a weak 
point for starting, to impel it to the discovery 
of the truth. Thus, we are not told of the 
creation of water ; but, as we are told that 
the earth was invisible, ask yourself what 
could have covered it, and prevented it from 
being seen.^ Fire could not conceal it. 
Fire brightens all about it, and spreads light 
rather than darkness around. No more was 
it air that enveloped the earth. Air by nat- 
ure is of little density and transparent. It re- 
ceives all kinds of visible object, and trans- 
mits them to the spectators. Only one sup- 
position remains ; that which floated on the 
surface of the earth was water — the fluid 
essence which had not yet been confined to 
its own place. Thus the earth was not only 
invisible ; it was still incomplete. Even to- 
day excessive damp is a hindrance to the pro- 
ductiveness of the earth. The same cause 
at the same time prevents it froin being seen, 
and from being complete, for the proper 
and natural adornment of the earth is its 
completion : corn waving in the valleys — 
meadows green with grass and rich with 
many coloured flowers — fertile glades and 
hill-tops shaded by forests. Of all this 
nothing was yet produced; the earth was in 
travail with it in virtue of the power that she 
had received from the Creator. But she was 
waiting for the appointed time and the divine 
order to bring forth. 

4. " Darkness was upon the face of the 
deep." ^ A new source for fables and most 
impious imaginations if one distorts the sense 
of these words at the will of one's fancies. 
By "darkness" these wicked men do not 
understand what is meant in reality — air not 
illumined, the shadow produced by the inter- 

neamoins, et qui attendait de votes sa perfection ! Aveugles, 
qui n'entendaient pas que d^ctre capable de forme, c^est deja 
quelque forme ; c'est quelque perfection, que d^ctre capable de 
perfection ; et si la matiere avail d'elle-mhne ce commence- 
ment de perfection et de forme, elle en pouvait aussitot avoir 
d^ellememe Ventier accomplissement . 

" Aveugles, co7iducteurs d^aveugles, qui tombez dans le 
precipice, et y jetez ceux qui vous suivent (St. Matthieu xv. 
14), dites-mois qui a asstijeti a Dieu ce qu^il n^a pas fait , ce 
qui est de soi aussi bien que Dieu, ce qui est independamment 
de Dieu meme? Par oil a-t-il trouve prise sur ce qui lui est 
i'tranger et independant et sa puissance ; et par quel art ou 
quel pouvoir se Vest-il soumis? . . . Mais qu^est-ce aprrs tout 
que cette matiere si parfait, qu^elle ait elle-meme ce fnid de 
son etre ; et si imparfaite, qu'elle attende sa perfection d^un 
autre? Dieu aura fait V accident et n'aura pas fait la sub- 
stance? {Bossuet, Elevations sur les mysteres, ^e sematne, 
26 elevat.) 1 (xen. i. 2. 



THE HEXAEMERON. 



6i 



position of a body, or finally a place for 
some reason deprived of light. For them 
••• darkness" is an evil power, or rather 
the personification of evil, having his origin 
in himself in opposition to, and in perpetual 
struggle with, the goodness of God. If 
God is light, they say, without any doubt 
the power which struggles against Him 
must be darkness, "Darkness" not owing 
its existence to a foreign origin, but an evil 
existing by itself. '•• Darkness " is the 
enemy of souls, the primary cause of death, 
the adversary of virtue. The words of 
the Prophet, they say in their error, show 
that it exists and that it does not proceed 
from God. From this what perverse and 
impious dogmas have been imagined ! What 
grievous wolves,^ tearing the flock of the 
Lord, have sprung from these words to cast 
themselves upon souls! Is it not from hence 
that have come forth Marcions and Valen- 
tini,^ and the detestable heresy of the Man- 
icheans,^ which you may without going far 
wrong call the putrid humour of the 
churches. 

O man, why wander thus from the truth, 
and imagine for thyself that which will cause 
thy perdition? The word is simple and 
within the comprehension of all. "The 
earth was invisible." Why? Because the 
'^ deep " was spread over its surface. What 
is '' the deep " ? A mass of water of extreme 
depth. But we know that we can see many 
bodies tlirough clear and transparent water. 
How then was it that no part of the earth 
appeared through the water? Because the 
air which surrounded it was still without 
lis^ht and in darkness. The ravs of the sun, 
penetrating the water, often allow us to see 
the pebbles which form the bed of the river, 
but in a dark night it is impossible for our 
glance to penetrate under the water. Thus, 
these words '^ the earth was invisible " are 
explained by those that follow ; " the deep " 
covered it and itself was in darkness. Thus, 
the deep is not a multitude of hostile powers, 
as has been imagined ; ■* nor " darkness" an 



1 Acts XX. 29. 

2 Marcion and Valentinus are roug-hly lumped together as 
types of gnostic dualism. On the distinction between their 
systems see Dr. Salmon in Z>. C ^. iii. S20. Marcion, said to 
have been the son of a bishop of Sinope, is the most Christian 
of the gnostics, and '' tries to fit in his dualism with the 
Christian creed and with the scriptures." But he expressly 
" asserted the existence of two Gods." The Valentinian ideas 
and emanations travelled farther afield. 

3 On Manicheism, vide Beausobre's Critical History of Man- 
icheism, and Walch, Hixt. Kelz. i. 770. With its theory of 
two principles it spread widely over the empire in the 4th 
c, was vi.rorous in Armenia in the gth, and is said to have 
appeared in France in the i2th. {cf. Bayle, Diet, s.v.) On the 
view taken of the heresy in Basil's ti:nj r/". Gregory of Nyssa, 
Against Eunomins i. § 35. 

* i.e. by those who would identifv the a3ua-<ro<; (Tehom) of 
Gen. i. 2 witli that of Luke i. v. imd undt-rstand it to mean 
the abode in prison of evil spirits. The Hebrew word occurs 
in Job xxviii. 14 and Deut. xxxiii. 13 for the depth of waters. 



evil sovereign force in enmity with good. In 
reality two rival principles of equal power, 
if engaged without ceasing in a war o 
mutual attacks, will end in self destruction. 
But if one should gain the mastery it would 
completely annihilate the conquered. Thus, 
to maintain the balance in the struggle 
between good and evil is to represent them as 
engaged in a war without end and in perpet- 
ual destruction, where the opponents are at 
the same time conquerors and conquered. If 
good is the. stronger, what is there to pre- 
vent evil being completely annihilated? But 
if that be the case, the very utterance of 
which is impious, I ask myself how it is 
that they themselves are not filled with 
horror to think that they have imagined 
such abominable blasphemies. 

It is equally impious to say that evil has 
its origin from God; 'because the contrary 
cannot proceed from its contrary. Life docs 
not engender death ; darkness is not the 
origin of light ; sickness is not the maker of 
health.^ In the changes of conditions there 
are transitions from one condition to the con- 
trary; but in genesis each being proceeds 
from its like, and not from its contrary. If 
then evil is neither uncreate nor created by 
God, from whence comes its nature? Cer- 
tainly that evil exists, no one living in the 
world will deny. What shall we say then ? 
Evil is not a living animated essence ; it is 
the condition of the soul opposed to virtue, 
developed in the careless on account of their 
falling away from good.^ 

5. Do not then go beyond yourself to 
seek for evil, and imagine that there is an 
original nature of wickedness. Each of us, 

1 With this vie^v Plutarch charges the Stoics. Av'toI t'oi/ 
KaKwv apx'"^' ayaObu bura rbf ©tof TTOtovji. (c. Stoicos, 1976.) 
But it is his deduction from their statements — not their own 
stateinent. cj. Mosheim's note on Cudwoith iv. § 13. Origen 
(<:. Celsiim vi.) distinguishes between t^v KaKiav koI Ta? an-' 
avTYj? 7rpa^et9, and Kaxou as punitive and remedial ; if the latter 
can rightly be culled evil in any sense, God is the author of it. 
cf. Amos iii. 6. Vide, also, Basil's treatment of this ques- 
tion in his Treatise on o"/< eanv airios riav KaKoiv it deo;. 
cf. Schroeck. Kirchengeschichte xiii. 194. 

2 Fialon points out tiie correspondence with Plat. Phced. 
§ 119, (cat Tis etTre Twi/ napofTiDV d/toucras . . . rrpb? &ev, ov< ew 
Toi? npocrdei' vixiv Adyot? axfTO to (.vo.vriov tci>j' vvvi Acyo^jLe'vcoi' 
ofjaoAo-yeiTo, €« rov sAixttovo'; to fxei(^ov yLyveaOaL, koi ck toO /uf(- 
^ovo<; TO iKaTTOVf Koi dTe;)(i'to9 aiirrf ilvaL i) •yeVecri? Toi? evauTcOi.s 
eK Toiu ivai'Tioii' ; vvf 8e /aot 8ok€l \eyea9ai, otl toOto ovk av ttots 
■yeVotro. Kai 6 Sw/cparrj? . . . e</)ij ... ovk ivvoex; to 6ia<|)e'por rov 
Ti vvv Keyojxivov Kai too Tore* Tore fiev ydip eAeyero e« roij 
ei/apriov Trpay/aaTO? to epavriov TTpayaa yiyveaOai^ vvv 8k OTt avTO 
TO ivavTLOv eavTw ivavTioi' ovk av noTe yei'oiTO, ovre to e^v tj^lv 
ovTe TO iv <l)vaeL' Tore jxev yd.p nepi tmv e^ovrtav Ttxiv evc.i'Timv 
eXeyofxev, enovo^Jid^ovre<; avrd. rj] eKeiviov eniovvfjiia, vvv 8k nepi 
iKCLvojv avTu>v oiv iv6vr(xyv, e\fL rriv knixivvfxiu.v rd. 6voiJ.a^6fj.ei'a, 
avTo. 8' ineiva ovk dv ivori <^a,x€v e^eArjcrat yivtaiv dkkrjKuiv 
8e^a<T0ai. 

3 " Cette phrase est prise textnellement dans Denys V Areop- 
affite, oil du vioins dans Vonvrage qui lui est att/ibtie. {De 
Div. I\'om. iv iS. Laur. Lyd. de mensih. ed. Rxtli. 1S6, 28.)." 
Fialon. In the Trt-atise referred to, Trepl Oeiwr '(.h-ouaruji-, 
<« evil " is said to be " nothing real and positive, but a defect, a 
nejjation only. iSrtfprjai? api cttI to Ka<bv, xat eAAeii/zts, Kai. 
daOeveia, Kai diVfXfxeTpiaJ'* Z).C.B. i. S46. 

cf. " Evil is null, is nought, is silence implying sound." 
Browning. Abt Vogler. 



62 



BASIL 



let us acknowledge it, is the first author of 
his own vice. Among the ordinary events 
of life, some come naturally, like old age 
and sickness, others by chance Hke unforeseen 
occurrences, of which the origin is beyond 
ourselves, often sad, sometimes fortunate, as 
for instance the discovery of a treasure w^hen 
digging a well, or the meeting of a mad dog 
when going to the market place. Others 
depend upon ourselves, such as ruling one's 
passions, or not putting a bridle on one's 
pleasures, to be master of our anger, or to 
raise the hand against him who irritates us, 
to tell the truth, or to lie, to have a sweet 
and well-regulated disposition, or to be fierce 
and swollen and exalted with pride.* Here 
you are the master of your actions. Do not 
look for the guiding cause beyond your- 
self, but recognise that evil, rightly so called, 
has no other origin than our voluntary falls. 
If it were involuntary, and did not depend 
upon ourselves, the laws would not have so 
much terror for the guilty, and the tribunals 
would not be so without pity when they 
condemn wretches according to the measure 
of their crimes. But enough concerning 
evil rightly so called. Sickness, poverty, 
obscurity, death, finally all human afflictions, 
ou^ht not to be ranked as evils; since we 
do not count among the greatest boons 
things which are their opposites.^ Among 
these afflictions, some are the effect of nature, 
others have obviously been for many a source 
of advantage. Let us then be silent for the 
moment about these metaphors and alle- 
gories, and, simply following without vain 
curiosity the words of Holy Scripture, let 
us take from darkness the idea which it 
gives us. 

But reason asks, was darkness created 
with the world? Is it older than light? 
Why in spite of its inferiority has it pre- 
ceded it? Darkness, we reply, cHd not 
exist in essence ; it is a condition produced 
in the air by the withdrawal of light. What 
then is that light which disappeared sud- 
denly from the world, so that darkness 
should cover the face of the deep? If any- 
thing had existed before the formation of 
this sensible and perishable world, no doubt 
we conclude it would have been in li^ht. 
The orders of angels, the heavenly hosts, 

1 cf. Epictetus, Ench. i. ec/)' r\iiAv ixev vn6\y]\pis, opjarj, ope^i?, 
e/c<Atcri?, fal eul \6yw, baa j^jae'repa epya. 

^ cf. M. Aurelius II, xi. 6 yOip x^^P'^ f^^ Troiei avOpaonov, itui<; 
i'ri ToiJTO ^lOl' ai'OpuiTTOV X^'P'^ noirjaetev ; ... fldvaro? 6e ye 
Kal ^u>'?, 56fa koX aSo^ia, Troro? koI rjSopr}, ttAoOto? koX nevia, 
Trai'TOL TavTO. ^ni(rr\<; crvix^aLvet avQpJjnuiv toi? t6 aya^ois /cai rot? 
Ka.<ol<;,0'ne Ka\<X ovra ovre nlaxpo- ' ovt* ao^ ayaOH ovre xaKo. €(tti. 
Also Greg-. Nyss,. Ornf. Cat. viii. and Aua:-, I^e Ciy. Dei. i. 8. 
lata vero temporalia bona et mala utrisqnc voluit esse com- 
mtinia\ ut nee bona cnpidiiis nppctantuf. qtice ntali qiioqve^ 
habere cernnntur, nee mala turptter evitetitur^ quibus et boni 
plentntqne a^^iciuntitr. 



all intellectual natures named or unnamed, 
all the ministering spirits,' did not live in 
darkness, but enjoyed a condition fitted for 
them in light and spiritual joy.^ 

No one will contradict this; least of all he 
who looks for celestial light as one of the 
rewards promised to virtue, the light wliich, 
as Solomon says, is always a light to the 
righteous,^ the light which made the Apostle 
say " Giving thanks unto the Father, which 
hath made us meet to be partakers of the 
inheritance of the saints m light."* Finall}', 
if the condemned are sent into outer dark- 
ness^ evidently those who are made worthy 
of God's approval, are at rest in heavenly 
light. When then, according to the order 
of God, the heaven appeared, enveloping all 
that its circumference included, a vast and 
unbroken body separating outer things from 
those which it enclosed, it necessarily kept 
the space inside in darkness for want of 
communication with the outer light. Three 
things are, indeed, needed to form a shadow, 
light, a body, a dark place. The shadow of 
heaven forms the darkness of the world. 
Understand, I pray you, what I mean, by a 
simple example ; by raising for yourself at 
mid-day a tent of some compact and im- 
penetrable material, and shutting yourself 
up in it in sudden darkness. Suppose that 
original darkness was like this, not subsist- 
ing directly by itself, but resulting from 
some external causes. If it is said that it 
rested upon the dee]), it is because the ex- 
tremity of air naturally touches the sin^face 
of bodies; and as at that time the water 
covered everything, we are obliged to say 
that darkness was upon the face of the deep. 

6. And tJie Spirit of God was borne upon 
the face of the zvafcrs.^ Does this spirit 
mean the clifTusion of air? The sacred writer 
wishes to enumerate to you the elements of 
the world, to tell you that God created the 
heavens, the earth, water, and air and that 
the last was now diftlised and in motion ; or 
rather, that w^iich is truer and confirmed by 
the authority of the ancients, by the Spirit of 
God, be means the Holy Spirit. It is, as 
has been remarked, the special name, the 
name above all others that Scripture delights 
to give to the Holy Spirit, and always by 
the spirit of God the Holy Spirit is meant, 

1 cf. Heb. i. 14. 

^ cf. Theod. {:^U(e^t. in Gen.vi.^ who is re.ndy to accept the 
creation of" anijels before the creation of the -world. Oritreii, 
Horn. i. in Gen. Horn iv. in Is. tautjht the existence of anucis 
'* before the a2ons." Greg:. Naz., Ora/. xxxviii. The Ixx. Trans, 
of Job xxxviii, 7, rj 'eTui^ /ite Trai/rc? dvveAot /uou may liave aided 
in the formation of the j/e-eral opinion of the (Jreek Fathers. 
The systemati^ation of (he hierarchies is due to the pseudo, 
Dionysius, and was tr in^niitled to the west through John 
Eri^ena. f/". Milman, L.t. Christ. \\. t^q. 

3 Prov. xiii. 9, Ixx. . ^' rf. Matt . xxii. 13. 

* Col. i. \z. <- Gen. 1. 2, Ixxx. 



THE HEXAEMERON. 



63 



the Spirit which completes the divine and 
blessed Trinity. You will find it better 
therefore to take it in this sense. How then 
did the Spirit of God move upon the waters? 
The explanation that I am about to give you 
is not an original one, but that of a Syrian,' 
who was as ignorant in the wisdom of this 
world as he was versed in the knowledge of 
the Truth. He said, then, that the Syriac 
word was more expressive, and that being 
more analogous to the Hebrew term it was 
a nearer approach to the scriptural sense. 
This is the meaning of the word ; by " was 
borne " the Syrians, he says, understand : it 
cherished ^ the nature of the waters as one 
sees a bird cover the eggs with her body and 
impart to them vital force from her own 
warmth. Such is, as. nearly as possible, 
the meaning of these words — the Spirit was 
borne : let us understand, that is, prepared 
the nature of water to produce living beings :^ 
a sufficient proof for those who ask if the 
Holy Spirit took an active part in the crea- 
tion of the world. 

7. And God said^ Let there he light: ^ 
The first word of God created the nature of 
light; it made darkness vanish, dispelled 
gloom, illuminated the world, and gave to all 
beings at the same time a sweet and gracious 
aspect. The heavens, until then enveloped 
in darkness, appeared with that beauty which 
they still present to our eyes. The air was 
lighted up, or rather made the light circulate 
mixed with its substance, and, distributing its 
splendour rapidly in every direction, so 
dispersed itself to its extreme limits. Up it 
sprang to the very sether and heavcno In 
an instant it lighted up the whole extent of 
the world, the North and the South, the East 
and the West. For the aether also is such a 
subtle substance and so transparent that it 
needs not the space of a moment for light to 
pass through it. Just as it carries our 



1 Tillemont understands Eusebius of Samosata. The Ben. 
note prefers Ephrem Syrus, and compares Jerome, ^iicest. lleb. 
Col. 50S. 

2 Gen. i. 2. Vide R.V. margin. The word rachaph, 
** brood," is not used of wind, and itself appears to fix the 
meaning of the Spirit in the place. An old interpretation of 
the Orphic Poem Ars^onautica would identify the brooding- 
Spirit of Genesis witli the Ail Wise JLove of the Greek poet : 

Trpwra jixev apya.iov xaeo<; fLeyaXr^^aTOv v/xvov, 
to? en-a;u,6(,i//e (})V(xeL^, aij t' oupai/bs €? Tre'pa? rjXdev, 
yrj; t' eiipvuTeppov yifecrii', nvdixefa? re 6a\a<x<jr]<;, 
irpecr^oTaTOV re /cat auroreArj 7ro> arjrti/ "Eptora, 
oaa-a t' ecjivixey aTravTa, tOl &* eVot^ei' aWov arr' aWo. 

Orph., Arg'oji, 423-427. 

On the translation of rachaph by " brooding," cf. Milton, 
P. L,osi, vii. : 

*' darkness profound 
Covered the abvss ; but on the watery calm ■ 
His hro nling wings tlie Spirit of God outspread, 
And vital virtue infnsed, anil vital warmth, 
Tliroughout the fluid mass." 

3 ^i-ioyov^a. cf. De Sp. S, § 56, and Bp. Pearson, on the Creed. 
Art. V. 

* Gen. i. 3. 



sight instantaneously to the object of vision,' 
so without the least interval, with a rapidity 
that thought cannot conceive, it receives 
these rays of light in its uttermost limits. 
With light thesether becomes more pleasing 
and tlie waters more limpid. These last, 
not content with receiving its splendour, 
return it by the reflection of light and in all 
directions send forth quivering flashes. The 
divine word gives every object a more cheer- 
ful and a more attractive appearance, just as 
when men in deep sea pour in oil they make 
the place about them clear. So, with a sin- 
gle word and in one instant, the Creator of 
all things gave the boon of ligh.t to the 
world. ^ 

Let there be light. The order was it- 
self an operation, and a state of things was 
brouglit into being, than which man's mind 
cannot even imagine a pleasanter one for our 
enjoyment. It must be well understood that 
when we speak of the voice, of the word, of 
the command of God, this divine language 
does not mean to us a sound which escapes 
from the organs of speech, a collision of air ^ 
struck by the tongue; it is a simple sign of 
the will of God, and, if we give it the form 
of an order, it is only the better to impress 
the souls whom we instruct.* 

And God saw the lights that it ivas good.^ 
How can we worthily praise light after the 
testimony given by the Creator to its good- 
ness .f* The word, even among us, refers the 
judgment to the eyes, incapable of raising 
itself to the idea that the senses have already 
received.^ But, if beauty in bodies results 
from symmetry of parts, and the harmonious 



* Light is said to travel straight at the rate of about igfj.ooo 
English miles a second; a velocity estimated by observations 
on the eclij)ses of Jupiter's satellites. The modern undulatory 
theory of light, of which Huyghens (f 1695) is generally re- 
garded as the author, describes light as propagated by the 
vibrations of the imponderable matter termed Ether or ^t her. 

2 xhe simile seems hardly worthy of the topic. The prac- 
tice is referred to by Plutarch, Symp. ^ucest. i. 9, and by Pliny, 
Hist, Nat. ii. 106. '■ Omne oleo tranquillari ; et oh iduri'n- 
(Dites ore spargere, quoniam viitiget natnram asperam lu- 
ceinque deport et." '•' gerere" says the Delph. note, " /«w 
credas oleum vicem conspiciliorum.''^ 

3 A statement not unlike tlie "Vibrations of the elastic 
medium," to_ which sound mii^ht now be referred. *'■ Sed 
Tocetn Stoici corpus esse contendust : eamque esse dicunt 
ictuin aera : Plato ant em non esse vocem corpus esse piitat. 
Non enim percussus, inquit, aer, sed plaga ipsa aique per- 
CUSSlOyVOX est : ovk arrAw? TrArjyr) ae'po? iariv i) (/xoi'r/ • 7rA>jTT€t 
yap TQv aepa Kal SaKTuAo? napay6jxeuo<:, Ka.1 ovSinia Troiei <j)u>vriv • 
aAA Y) TTOTTj TrAr/yfj, Kal a^odpOi, /cal TOT17 6§ uiyre aKOvcTTriv yevecr- 
^ai.'» Aul. Gell., JV.A. V. 15. So Diog. Laert. in Vita Zeno- 

niS J ecTTL <j>Mv'r) arjp TreTrATjyaci/O?. 

4 Fialon quotes Bossuet 4me ^lev. 3me sem.: •' Le rot dit 
^n'on marche ; et VarmCe marche ; qu'oti Jasse telle evolu- 
tion, et elle se fait ; toute uue armee se remiie au senl com- 
mandement d'un prince, c'pst a dire, a un seul petit moiivement 
de ces livres, c'est,parmi les choses humaines, I'lmage la plu.^ 
excellente de la puissance de Dieu ; mais au fond que c'est 
image est difectueuse ! Dieu n\i point de ll-vres a remuer ; 
Dieu nefrafpe point Vair pour en tirer quelque son ; Dieu n' a 
qn'o, vouloir en lui mime ; et tout ce qn'il V"ut eternellenwnt 
s^accomplit comme il l\i votilu, et au temps qu'il a marque. ■ 

^ Gen. i. 4. 

6 St. Basil dwells rather on the sense of " beautiful " in the 
Ixx. KxKov, The Vulgate \\\x^ pulchra. 



64 



BASIL. 



appearance of colours, how in a simple and 
hoinogeneous essence like light, can this 
idea of beauty be preserved? Would not 
the symmetry in light be less shown in its 
parts than in the pleasure and delight at the 
sight of it? Such is also the beauty of gold, 
which it owes not to the happy mingling of 
its parts, but only to its beautiful colour which 
has a charm attractive to the eyes. 

Thus again, the evening star is the most 
beautiful of the stars : ' not that the parts of 
which it is composed form a harmonious 
whole; but thanks to the unalloyed and 
beautiful brightness which meets our eyes. 
And further, when God proclaimed the 
goodness of light, it was not in regard to the 
charm of the eye but as a provision for fut- 
ure adv^antage, becaus^i at that time there 
were as yet no eyes to judge of its beauty. 
^*A?zd God divided the light from the dark- 
ness; ^ that is to say, God gave them natures 
incapable of mixing, perpetually in opposi- 
tion to each other, and put between them 
the widest space and di'^tance. 

8. '' And God called the light Day and 
the darkness he called Night,'' ^ Since the 
birlh of the sun, the light that it diffuses in 
the air, when shining on our hemisphere, is 
day ; and the shadow produced by its disap- 
pearance is night. But at that time it was 
not after the moveinent of the sun, but fol- 
lowing this primitive light spread abroad in 
the air or withdrawn in a measure deter- 
mined by God, that day came and was fol- 
lowed bv night. 

*' Aud the evening and the 7nor7iingwere 
the first daj/.""^ Evening is then the bound- 
ary common to day and night ; and in the 
same way morning constitutes the approach 
of night to day. It was to give day the pri- 
vileges of seniority that Scripture put the end 
of the first day before that of the first night, 
because night follows day : for, before the 
creation of li-ght, the world was not in night, 
but in darkness. It is tlie opposite of day 
which was called night, and it did not receive 
its name until after day. Thus were created 
the evening and the morning.^ Scripture 
means the space of a day and a night, and 
afterwards no more says day and night, but 
calls them both untler the name of the more 
important: a custom which you will find 



1 cf, Bion. xvi. i : 

'EtTTrepe, Kvavea? lepov, <f)i\e, vukto? dyaXwa, 
Tojcrov a(/)iXi'p6Tepos fJLrjfa'; ojoy ei'o;(os ttTTpwf, 
and Milton, P.I^. iv. 605 : 

" Hesperus, that led 
The starry host, rode brightest." 

2 Gen. i. 4. ^'Gen.i. 5. * Gen. 1.5. 

I"' Ixx. 'I'he IIeb. = literally " And even in ij happened and 
morning happened, one day." On the unique leckoninjj- 
of tlie day from eveninsj tn morning, see the late Dr. McCaul 
in Replies to Kssays and Reviews. 



throughout Scripture. Everywhere the 
measure of time is counted by days, without 
mention of nights. ''The days of our 
years," ^ says the Psalmist. " Few and evil 
have the days of the years of m}' life been," ^ 
said Jacob, and elsewhere " all the days of 
my life." ' Thus under the form of liis- 
tory the law is laid down for what is to 
follow. 

And the evening and the morning were 
one day.* Why does Scripture say " one 
day " not " the first day "? Before speaking 
to us of the second, the third, and the fourtli 
days, would it not have been more natural to 
call that one the first which began the series? 
If it therefore says "one day," it is from a 
wish to determine the measure of day and 
night, and to combine the time that they con- 
tain. Now twenty-four hours fill up the 
sjDace of one day — we mean of a day and of 
anight; and if, at the time of the solstices, 
they have not both an equal length, the time 
marked by Scripture does not the less cir- 
cumscribe their duration. It is as though it 
said : twenty-four hours measure the space 
of a day, or that, in reality a day is the time 
that the heavens starting from one point take 
to return there. Thus, every time that, in 
the revolution of the sun, evening and morn- 
ing occupy the world, their periodical suc- 
cession never exceeds the space of one day. 

But must we believe in a m}sterious reason 
for this? God who made the nature of time 
measured it out and determined it by inter- 
vals of days ; and, wishing to give it a week 
as a measure, he ordered the week to revolve 
from period to period upon itself, to count 
the movement of time, forming the week of 
one day revolving seven times upon itself: 
a proper circle begins and ends with itself. 
Such is also the character of eternitv, to 
revolve upon itself and to end nowhere. If 
tiien the beginning of time is called " one 
day" rather than "the first day," it is be- 
cause Scripture wishes to establish its rela- 
tionship with eternity. It was, in reality, 
fit and natural to call "one" the day whose 
character is to be one wholly separated and 
isolated from all the others. If Scripture 
speaks to us of many ages, saying every- 
where, " age of age, and ages of ages," we 
do not see it enumerate them as first, second, 
and third. It follows that we are hereby 
shown not so much limits, ends and succes- 
sion of ages, as distinctions between various 
states and modes of action. " The day of 
the Lord," Scripture says, " is great and very 
terrible,"* and elsewhere "Woe unto you 

^ Ps. xc. 10. 8 Ps. xxiii. 6. LXX. ''Joel ii. 11. 

2 Gen. xlvii. 9. * Gen. i. 5, LXX. and Heb. 



THE HEXAEMERON. 



65 



that desire the day of the Lord : to what end 
is it for you? The day of the Lord is dark- 
ness and not light." ' A day of darkness for 
those who are worthy of darkness. No ; this 
da}^ without eveninor, without succession, 
and without end is not unknown to Script- 
ure, and it is the day tliat the Psahnist calls 
the eighth day, because it is outside this 
time of weeks. ^ Thus whether you call it 
day, or whether you call it eternity, you ex- 
press the same idea. Give this state the 
name of day ; there are not several, but only 
one. If you call it eternity still it is unique 
and not manifold. Thus it is in order 
that you may carry your thoughts forward 
towards a future life, that Scripture marks by 
the word "one" the day which is the type 
of eternity, the first fruits of days, the con- 
temporary of light, the holy Lord's day, 
honoured by the Resurrection of our Lord. 
A^id the evening and the morning we7'e one 
dayr 

But, whilst I am conversing with you 
about the first evening of the world, evening 
takes me by surprise, and puts an end to my 
discourse. May the Father of the true light, 
Who hns adorned day with celestial light, 
Who has made the fire to shine which illu- 
minates us during" tlie nisrht, Who reserves 
for us in the peace of a future age a spiritual 
and everlasting light, enlighten your hearts 
in the knowledge of trutli, keep you from 
stumbling, and grant that " you mav walk 
honestly as in the day." ^ Thus shall you 
shine as the sun in the midst of the glorv 
of the saints, and I shall glory in you in 
the day of Christ, to Whom belong all glory 
and power for ever and ever. Amen, 

HOMILY III. 

On the Firmament. 

I. ' We have now recounted the works of 
the first day, or rather of one day. Far be it 
from me indeed, *to take from it the privilege 
it enjoys of having been for the Creator a 
day apart, a day wliich is not counted in the 
same order as the others. Our discussion yes- 
terday treated of the works of this day, and 
divided the narrative so as to give you food 
for your souls in the morning, and jo}' in the 
evening. To-day we pass on to the wonders 
of the second day. And here I do not wish 
to speak of the narrator's talent, but of the 
grace of Scripture, for the narrative is so 
naturally told that it pleases and delights all 

* Amos V. 18. 

2 The arsifument here is due to a misapprehension of the 
meaninir of the term eighth in Psalm vi. and xi. title, cf. n. 
on De Sp. S.% 66. 

8 Rom, xiii. 13. 



the friends cf truth. It is this charm of truth 
which the Psalmist expresses so emphati- 
cally when he says, ''How sweet are thy 
words unto my taste, yea, sweeter than honey 
to my mouth." ^ Yesterday then, as far as 
we were able, we delighted our souls bv 
conversing about the oracles of God, and 
now to-day we are met together again on the 
second day to contemplate the wonders of 
the second day. 

I know that many artisans, belonging to 
mechanical trades, are crowding around me. 
A day's labour hardly suffices to maintain 
them ; therefore I am compelled to abridge 
my discourse, so as not to keep them too 
long from their work. What shall I say to 
them.? The time which you lend to God is 
not lost: he will return it to you with large 
interest. Whatever difficulties mav trouble 
you the Lord will disperse them. To those 
who have preferred spiritual welfare, He 
will give health of body, keenness of mind, 
success in business, and unbroken prosperity. 
And, even if in this life our efforts should 
not realise our hopes, the teachings of the 
Holy Spirit are none the less a rich treasure 
for the ages to come Deliver your heart, 
then, from the cares of this life and give close 
heed to my words. Of what avail will it be 
to you if you are here in the body, and your 
heart is anxious about your earthly treasure.? 

2. And God said " Let there be a firma- 
ment in the midst of the waters, and let it 
divide the waters from the waters." ^ Yes- 
terday we heard God's decree, "Let there 
be light." To-day it is, "Let there be a 
tirmament." There appears to be something 
more in this. The word is not limited to a 
simple command. It lays down the reason 
necessitating the structure of the firmamrnt: 
it is, it is said, to separate the waters from 
the waters. And first let us ask how God 
speaks.? Is it in our manner.? Does His 
intelligence receive an impression from 
objects, and, after having conceived them, 
make them known by particular signs ap- 
propriate to each of them .? Has He conse- 
quently recourse to the organs of voice to 
convey His thoughts? Is He obliged to 
strike the air by the articulate movements of 
the voice, to unveil the thought hidden in 
His heart.? Would it not seem like an idle 
fable to say that God should need such a cir- 
cuitous method to manifestHisthoughts? And 
is it not more conformable with true religion 
to say, that the divine will and the first im- 
petus of divine intelligence are the Word of 
God.? It is He whom Scripture vaguelv 
represents, to show us that God has not only 



* Ps. cxix. 103. 



2 Gen. i. 6. 



66 



BASIL. 



wished to create the world, but to create it 
with the help of a co-operator. Scripture 
might continue the history as it is begun : 
Intiie beginning God created the heaven and 
the earth ; afterwards He created light, then 
He created the firmament. But, by making 
God command and speak, the Scripture 
tacitly shows us Him to Whom this order and 
these words are addressed.' It is not that it 
grudges us the knowledge of the truth, but th:it 
it may kindle our desire by showing us some 
trace and indication of the mystery. We seize 
with delight, and carefully keep, the fruit of 
laborious' efforts, whilst a possession easily 
attained is despised.^ Such is the road and 
the course which Scripture follows to lead 
us to the idea of the Only begotten. And 
certainly, God's immaterial nature had no 
need of the material language of voice, 
since His very ihoughts could be transmitted 
to His fellow-worker. What need then of 
speech, for those Who by thought alone could 
communicate their counsels to each other? 
Voice was made for hearing, and hearing 
for voice. Where there is neither air, nor 
tongue, nor ear, nor that winding canal 
which carries sounds to the seat of sensation 
in the head, there is no need for words: 
thouofhts of the soul are sufficient to transmit 
the will. As I said then, this language is only 
a wise and ingenious contrivance to set our 
minds seeking the Person to whom the 
words are addressed. 

3. In the second place, does the firma- 
ment that is called heaven ditier from the 
firmament that God made in the beginning? 
Are there two heavens? The philosophers, 
who discuss heaven, would rather lose their 
tongues than grant this. There is only one 
heaven,^ they pretend ; and it is of a nature 
neither to admit of a second, nor of a third, 
nor of several others. The essence of the 
celestial bodv quite complete constitutes its 
vast imity. Because, they say, every bodv 
which has a circular motion is one and 
finite. And if this body is used in the con- 
struction of the first heaven, there will be 



1 Origen, c. Cels. vi. says tov /aev 7rpoa-e;^et? Sr]fj.iovpyov elvai 
Tov vlbv TOV Qeov ^oyop, xal wcrnepel avrovpybv rou (coTuou, rhu 
5; Trarepa tov X6yov,TO} TrpocrTeTaxei'ai t'oj uico eavTov Ao-yoi Trotfjg-nt 
70!/ Koafxau, elfat, TrpioToj? Brjiju.ovpyow. cj. Athan., c. Rentes 
§ 4S. sq. 

2 Solon is credited with the saving, Svcr/coXa ra koXA. cf. tho 
German proverb, Gut ding vjil rveile hahen^ and Virgil in 
Georg, i. 121 : 

" Pater ipse eolendi 
Haud facilem esseviain volnitV 
8 Plato said one. -noTepov oiiv 6pdj)<; eVa ovpai'hv irpoeipriKafxev ; 
7) TToAAou? Y] aweipovi; Xiyeiv fju opOoTepov ; elnep /cara to TrapaSetytxa 
£ie8r}fJ.LOvpyr]fJievo<; ecrTai, to yd.p nepii^i^oi' iroLyTa onocra vorjTa ^(ia, 
lied' eTepou SevTepov ovk av ttot' eti) ... et? oSe n.oi'oyevr)<; oiipavcx; 
y€yoviJi<; ecTTi Te Kal ecTTat. Plat., Tim. § II. On the other hand 
was the Epicurean doctrine of the a77cipt'a Koajxujy, referred to 
in I^uc. i. 73 : 

Ergo vivida vis anitni pervicit , et extra 
Processit longejiammantia mcenia inundi. 



nothing left for the creation of a second or a 
third. Here we see what those imasfine who 
put under the Creator's hand uncreated 
matter ; a lie that follows from the first fable. 
But we ask the Greek sages not to mock us 
before they are agreed among themselves. 
Because there are among them some who 
say there are infinite heavens and worlds.' 
When grave demonstrations shall have upset 
their foolish system, when the laws of geo 
metry shall have established that, according 
to the nature of heaven, it is impossible that 
there should be two, we shall only laugh the 
more at this elaborate scientific trifling. 
These learned men see not merely one 
bubble but several bubbles formed by the 
same cause, and they doubt the power of 
creative wisdom to bring several heavens 
into being ! We find, however, if we 
raise our eyes towards the omnipotence 
of God, that the strength and grandeur 
of the heavens differ from the drops of 
water bubbling on the surface of a fountain. 
How richculous, then, is their argument of 
impossibility ! As for myself, far from not 
believing in a second, I seek for the third 
whereon the blessed Paul was found worthy 
to gaze.^ And does not the Psalmist in say- 
ing "heaven of heavens"^ give us an idea 
of their plurality? Is the pliu^ality of heaven 
stranger than the seven circles through which 
nearly all the philosophers agree that the 
seven pi mets pass, — circles which they re- 
present to us as placed in connection with 
each other like casks fitting the one into the 
other? These circles, they say, carried away 
in a direction contrary to that of the world, 
and striking the aether, make sweet and har- 
monious sounds, unequalled bv the sw^eetest 
melody.^ And if we ask them for the wit- 

1 So Anaximander (Diog. Laert. ii. 1,2; and Democritus 
(DioiT. Laert. ix. 4^). 

But, as Fialon points out, the Greek philosophers used 
Koa-jU-o? and ovpavo? as convertible terms ; Basil uses oupavos of 
the firmament or sky. 

2 1^. 2. Cor. xii. 2. 3 ps, cxlvii. 4. 

* " You must conceive it " (the W//>/) " to be of such a kind 
as this: as if in some great hollow whirl, carved throug^hout, 
there was such another, but lesser, within it, adapted to it, like 
casks fitted one within another; and in the same manner a 
third, and a fourth, and four others, for that the whirls were 
eiyht in all, as circles one within another . . . and th:it in each 
of its circles there was seated a siren on the upper eide, carried 
round, and uttering one voice varieeated by diverse modula- 
tions; but that the whole of them, being eight, composed one 
harmony." (Flat., /i*^/. x. 14, Davies' Trans.) Plato describes 
the F"ates " singing to the harmony of the Sirens." Id. On 
the PythaL'orean Music of the Spheres, cf. also Cic, De Divin. 
i. 3, and Macrobius In Somn: Scip. 

cJ. Shaksp., M of Ven. v. i : 

*' There's not the smallest orb which thou behold'st 
But in his motion like an angel sings, 
Still quiring to the young-eyed cherubim." 

And Milton, Arcades : 

"Then listen I 
To the celestial Sirens' harmony, 
That sit upon the nine infolded spheres, 
And sing to those that hold the vital sheres, 
And turn the adamantine spindle round 
On which the fate of gods and men is wound." 



THE HEXAEMERON. 



67 



ness of the senses, what do they say? That 
we, accustomed to this noise from our birth, 
on account of hearing it always, have lost 
the sense of it ; like men in smithies with 
their ears incessantly dinned. If I refuted 
this ingenious frivolity, the untruth of which 
is evident from the first word, it would seem 
as though I did not know the value of time, 
and mistrusted the intelligence of such an 
audience. 

But let me leave the vanity of outsiders to 
those who are without, and return to the 
theme proper to the Church. If we believe 
some of those who have preceded us, we have 
not here the creation of a new heaven, but a 
new account of the first. The reason they give 
is, that the earlier narrative brieflv described 
the creation of heaven and earth; while here 
scripture relates in greater detail the manner 
in which each was created. I, however, 
since Scripture gives to this second heaven 
another name and its own function, main- 
tain that it is different from the heaven 
which was made at the beginning; that it is 
of a stronger nature and of an especial use to 
the universe. 

4. ''''And God said^ let there he ajirnia- 
mcnt in the midst of the waters^ and let it 
divide the waters from tJie waters. And 
God made the frmament.^ and divided the 
waters which were tinder the frmame?it 
from the watci's which were above the frjna- 
nient,""^ Before laying hold of the meaning 
of Scripture let us try to meet objections from 
other quarters. We are asked how, if the 
firmament is a sphej'ical body, as it appears 
to the eye, its convex circumference can 
contain the water which flows and circulates 
in higher regions? What shall we answer? 
One thing only : because the interior of a body 
presents a perfect concavity it does not neces- 
sarily follow that its exterior surface is spheri- 
cal and smoothly rounded. Look at the stone 
vaults of baths, and the structure of build- 
ings of cave form; the dome, which forms 
the interior, does not prevent the roof from 
having ordinarily a flat surface. Let these 
unfortunate men cease, then, from tormenting 
us and themselves about tb.e impossibility of 
our retaininof water in the hiG;-her reunions. 

Now we must say something about the 
nature of the firmament, and why it received 
the order to hold the middle place between the 
waters. Scripture constantly makes use of 
the word firmament to express extraordinary 
strength. ''The Lord my firmament and 
refuge" ' *' I have strengthened the pillars 
of it" ^ " Praise him in the firmament of his 



1 Gen. i. 6, 7. 

sps. xviii. 2, I.XX. 



3 rs. Ixxv. 3, LXX. 



power." * The heathen writers thus call a 
strong body one which is compact and full,^ to 
distinguish it from the mathematical body. 
A mathematical body is a body which exists 
only in the three dimensions, breadth, depth, 
and height. A firm body, on the con- 
trary, adds resistance to the dimensions. It 
is the custom of Scripture to call firmament 
all that is strong and unyielding. It even 
uses the word to denote the condensation of 
the air : He, it says, who strengthens the 
thunder.^ Scripture means by the strengthen- 
ing of the thunder, the strength and resistance 
of the wind, which, enclosed in the hollows of 
the clouds, produces the noise of thimder 
when it breaks through with violence.^ Here 
then, according to me, is a firm substance, 
capable of retaining the fluid and unstable 
element water; and as, according to the com- 
mon acceptation, it appears that the firma- 
ment owes its origin to water, we must not 
believe that it resembles frozen water or any 
other matter pioduced by the filtration of 
water; as, for example, rock crystal, which 
is said to owe its metamorphosis to exces- 
sive congelation, ^ or the transparent stone ^ 
which forms in mines.' This pellucid stone, 
if one finds it in its natural perfection, with- 
out cracks inside, or the least spot of corrup- 
tion, almost rivals the air in clearness. We 
cannot compare the firmament to one of these 
substances. To hold such an opinion about 
celestial bodies would be childish and fool- 
ish ; and although everything may be in 
everything, fire in earth, air in water, and of 
the other elements the one in the other; al- 
though none of those which come under our 
senses are pure and without mixture, either 
with the element which serves as a medium 
for it, or with that which is contrary to it ; 
I, nevertheless, dare not affirm that the firma- 
ment was formed of one of these simple sub- 
stances, or of a mixture of them, for I am 
taught by Scripture not to allow my imagitia- 
tion to wander too far afield. But do not 



iPs. cl. I, LXX. 

Sj/acTTo? (fr. i/do-o-w, press or knead) = close, firm. DctxIo- 
critus used it as opposed to Kf.v6v, void. Arist. fr. 202. 

3 Amos iv. i.^, LxX. 

4 Pliny {Hist. Nat. ii. 43) writes: *' Si in mihe htctetnr 
flatus aiil vapor, tom'trttn edi: si ernmpnt ardfns, fithnina ; 

si loitgiore tractu nitatiiy, fril^eti'a. His flndi iiubeiu, illis 
perrumpi. Etesse toiiitriia impactortim ig^nttivt plagas^ cf. 
Sen., ^ucest. Nat. ii. 12. 

^ 'EjaTrefio/cAJj? o'Tepe'/avtoi' eirat tov ovpavov e^ aepo<; crv^xTta- 
ye'i/TOS VTTO TTvpo? /cpvaTaAAoetSw?, to TruowSe? koX aepiuSe'; ej/ 
eKarepoj tmv r)jutcr(f)atpt'a)(/ nepifxovTa. (Plutarch rreoi T'^-f aoecr- 
KovTtuv Tot5 (^tAotroc^oiT, ii. 11.) Pliny (Hist. Nat. xxxvii. q) 
says that crystal is made ^^ gelti {vide Sir T. Browne, Vulgar 
Errors., ii. i) vehemctitiore concreto . . . glariem que esso ar- 
tum est; 7tnde et nomen grceci dedere." So Seneca, ^ucest. Nr.f. 
iii. 25. Di( dorns Siculus, however, asserts it '■^ coalescere no:i 
a friffore sed divini igiiis potejitia." {Bihl. ii. 1.^4.) 

6 i.e. the " Lapis Specularis.''^ or mica, which was used for 
glazing- windows, cf. Plin.. Ep. ii. 17, and Juv., Sat. iv. 2\ . 

'' Mica is found in larg^e plates in Siberia, Peru, and Mexico, 
as well as in Sweden and Norway. 



6S 



BASIL. 



let us forget to remark that, after these divine 
words *'let there be a firmament," it is not 
said ** and the firmament was made," but, 
"' and God made the firmament, and divided 
the waters ." ' Hear, O ye deaf! See, O ye 
blind ! — who, then, is deaf? He who does 
not hear this startling voice of the Holy 
Spirit. Who is blind? He who does not 
see such clear proofs of the Only begotten.^ 
*' Let there be a firmament." It is the 
voice of the primary and principal Cause. 
"And God made the firmament." Here is 
a witness to the active and creative power 
of God. 

5. But let us continue our explanation : 
''''Let it divide the waters from the waters,'" ^ 
The mass of waters, which from all direc- 
tions flowed over the earth, and was sus- 
pended in the air, was infinite, so that there 
was no proportion between it and the other 
elements. Thus, as it has been already 
said, the abyss covered the earth. We will 
give the reason for this abundance of water. 
None of you assuredly will attack our 
opinion ; not even those who have the most 
cultivated minds, and whose piercing eye 
can penetrate this perishable and fleeting 
nature ; you will not accuse me of advancing 
impossible or imaginary theories, nor will you 
ask me upon what foundation the fluid 
element rests. By the same reason which 
makes them attract the earth, heavier than 
water, from the extremities of the world to 
suspend it in the centre, they will grant us 
without doubt that it is due both to its nat- 
ural attraction downwards and its general 
equilibrium, that this immense quantity of 
water rests motionless upon the earth.* 
Therefore the prodigious mass of waters was 
spread around the earth; not in proportion 
with it and infinitely larger, thanks to the fore- 
sight of the supreme Artificer, Who, from the 
beginning, foresaw what was to come, and at 
the first provided all for the future needs of 
the world. But what need was there for this 
superabundance of water? The essence of 
fire is necessary for the world, not only in 
the oeconomy of earthly produce, but for the 
completion of the universe ; for it would be 
imperfect^ if the most powerful and the most 



1 Gen. i. 7. 

2 With Christian associations it is startling to read at the 
end of the Timaeiis that the Cosmos is the ei/cwi/ toQ ©eou, or, 
according- to another reading, itself ©eds, . . . jaovoyei'Tj? mv. 

3 Gen. i. 6. 

* According to Plutarch (Trept tuji/ ape'cr/c : etc. iii. 10) Thales 
and the Stoics affirmed the earth to lie spherical, Thales {id. 
) I ) placing it ♦* in the middle." Pliny, Hist. Nat. ii. 4, says 
that the earth ^^ iitiiversi cardine stare pe)ide7item librantem 
per quce pendeat ; it a solam immohilem circa earn voltibili 
universitate, eatidem ex omnibus necti, eideinqne omnia in 
niti.'' 

6 On /toAojSds, docked, curtailed, cf. Matt. xxiv. 22. 



vital of its elements were lacking.' Now 
fire and water are hostile to and destructive 
of each other. Fire, if it is the stronger, de- 
stroys water, and water, if in greater abun- 
dance, destroys fire. As, therefore, it was 
necessary to avoid an open struggle between 
these elements, so as not to bring about the 
dissolution of the universe by the total disap- 
pearance of one or the other, the sovereign 
Disposer created such a quantity of water 
that in spite of constant diminution from the 
effects of fire, it could last until the time 
fixed for the destruction of the world. He 
who planned all with weight and measure. 
He who, according to the word of Job, 
knows the number of the drops of rain,'^ 
knew how long His work would last, and 
for how much consumption of fire He ought 
to allow. This is the reason of the abun- 
dance of water at the creation. Further, there 
is no one so strange to life as to need to 
learn the reason why fire is essential to the 
world. Not only all the arts which support 
life, the art of weaving, that of shoemaking, 
of architecture, of agriculture, have need of 
the help of fire, but the vegetation of trees, the 
ripening of fruits, the breeding of land and 
water animals, and their nourishment, all ex- 
isted from heat from the beginning, and have 
been since maintained by the action of heat. 
The creation of heat was then indispensable 
for the formation and the preservation of 
beings, and the abundance ot waters was no 
less so in the presence of the constant and in- 
evitable consumption by fire. 

6. Survey creation; .you will see the 
power of heat reigning over all that is born 
and perishes. On account of it comes all the 
water spread over the earth, as well as that 
which is beyond our sight and is dispersed 
in the depths of the earth. On account of it 
are abundance of fountains, springs or wells, 
courses of rivers, both mountain torrents and 
ever flowing streams, for the storing of 
moisture in many and various reservoirs. 
From the East, from the winter solstice 
flows the Indus, the greatest river of the 
earth, according to geographers. From the 
middle of the East proceed the Bactrus,' 
the Choaspes,'* and the Araxes,^ from which 
the Tanais^ detaches itself to fall into the 
Palus-Maeotis.' Add to these the Phasis^ 
which descends from Mount Caucasus, and 
countless other rivers, which, from northern 
regions, flow into the Euxine Sea. From 

' The supremacy of fire was the idea of Heraclitus. To TrOp 
0601/ V7reiATy(/)acrii' 'iTrn-aTO? • . . «ai "Hpa<Aet70?. Clem. Alex., 
Protrep, v. 55. Plutarch has an essay on the comparative use- 
fulness ot tire and water. 

2 job xxxvi. 27, I. XX. c Probably the Volga i'^ meant. 

SBalkh. cDon. » Phaz. 

* Kerak. ^ Sea of Asov. 



THE HEXAEMERON. 



69 



the warm countries of the West, from the 
foot of the Pyrenees, arise the Tartessus ^ and 
the Ister,* of which the one discliarges itself 
into the sea beyond the Pillars and the other, 
after flowing through Europe, falls into the 
Euxine Sea. Is there any need to enume- 
rate those which the Ripsean mountains ^ 
pour forth in the heart of Scythia, the 
Rhone,'* and so many other rivers, all navi- 
gable, which after having watered the coun- 
tries of the western Gauls and of Celts and 
of the neighbouring barbarians, flow into the 
Western sea? And others from the higher 
regions of the South flow through Ethiopia 
to discharge themselves some into our sea, 
others into inaccessible seas, the ^sfon ^ 
the Nyses, the Chremetes,^ and above all the 
Nile, which is not of the character of a river 
when, like a sea, it inundates Egypt. Thus the 
habitable part of our earth is surrounded by 
water, linked together by vast seas and irri- 
gated by countless perennial rivers, thanks to 
the ineflable wisdom of Him Who ordered 
all to prevent this rival element to fire from 
being entirely destroyed. 

However, a time will come, when all shall 
be consumed by fire ; as Isaiah says of the 
God of the universe in these words, ''That 
saith to the deep, Be dry, and I will dry up 
thy rivers."' Reject then the foolish wis- 
dom of this world, ** and receive with me the 
more simple but infallible doctrine of truth. 

7. Therefore we read: ''^Lct there be a 
firmament m the midst of the waters^ and let 
it divide the waters fir om the waters.^'' I 
have said what the word firmament in Script- 
ure means. It is not in reality a firm and 
solid su'ostance which has weight and resis- 
tance ; this name would otherwise have better 
suited the earth. But, as the substance of 
superincumbent bodies is light, without con- 
sistjncy, a:id cannot be grasped by any one 
of our senses, it is in comparison with these 
pure and imperceptible substances that the 
firmament has received its name. Imagine 
a place fit to divide the moisture, sending it, 
if pure and filtered, into higher regions, and 
making it fall, if It is dense and earthy ; to 



1 Ebro. 2 The Danube. 

3 Used vao^uelv for any mountains in the north of Europe 
and Asia. Slrabo (vii. pp. 295, 299) considers them fabulous. 
* A varia lectio is Eridnnus. 

5 A'YlO!' is properly the yEi^ean Sea. 

6 B isil's geography is bad. He might have improved it by 
consulting Strab) or Ptolemaeus, but has been content to go 
for his facts t) Aristotle {Met. i. 13), whose errors he repea^^s. 
Finlon remarks '■'■ noiixielle preuve de V indiffcreiice des cites 
ffi'ccques de V Axie pour cet Occident loijitain dont elle<; se 
separerent si facile went.'''* If this refers to the theological 
se|)aration it is hardly fair. The East in the 4tli c. and 5th c. 
shewed no indifference to the sympathy of the W., and when 
the split came the " separation " was not taken •* easily." 

^ Isa. xliv. 27. 

8 Schools of " the wisdom of the world " did, however, 
teach that the world was a world ytv6fi.fov Ka\ (ijOaoToy. cf. 
Lucretius v. 2^22^ " iottiin nativum mortali corpore constat.''^ 



the end that by the gradual withdrawal of 
the moist particles the same temperature may 
be preserved from the beginning to the end. 
You do not believe in this prodigious quan- 
tity of water ; but you do not take into 
account the prodigious quantity of heat, less 
considerable no doubt in bulk, but exceed- 
ingly powerful nevertheless, if you consider 
it as destructive of moisture. It attracts 
surrounding moisture, as the melon shows 
us, and consumes it as quickly when at- 
tracted, as the flame of the lamp draws to it 
the fuel supplied by the wick and burns it 
up. Who doubts that the sether is an ardent 
fire.^^ If an impassable limit had not been 
assigned to it by the Creator, what would pre- 
vent It from setting on fire and consuming 
all that is near it, and absorbing all the moist- 
ure from existing things? The aerial waters 
which veil the heavens with vapours that are 
sent forth by rivers, fountains, marshes, 
lakes, and seas, prevent the aether from In- 
vading and burning up the universe. Thus 
we see even this sun, in the summer season, 
dr}^ up in a moment a damp and marshy 
country, and make It perfectly arid. What 
has become of all the water.? Let these mas- 
ters of omniscience tell us. Is It not plain 
to every one that It has risen In vapour, and 
has been consumed by the heat of the sun.? 
They say, none the less, that even the sun is 
without heat. What time they lose in 
words ! And see what proof they lean upon 
to resist what is perfectly plain. Its colour 
is white, and neither reddish nor yellow. It 
Is not then fiery by nature, and its heat re- 
sults, they say, from the velocity of its rota- 
tion.^ What do they gain.? That the sun 
does not seem to absorb moisture.? I do not, 
however, reject this statement, although it 
is false, because it helps my argument. I 
said that the consumption of heat required 
this prodigious quantity of water. That the 
sun owes its heat to its nature, or that heat 
results from its action, makes no difference, 
provided that it produces the same eflects 
upon the same matter. If you kindle fire by 
rubbing two pieces of wood together, or if 
you light them by holding them to a flame, 
you will have absolutely the same efiect. 
Besides, we see that the great wisdom of 
Him who governs all, makes the sun travel 

^ So the " liquidissimus cether" of the Epicurean Lucretius 
(v. 501), " Suos icrnes fert ; " i.e. the fiery stars are of the nat- 
ure of the element in which thev move. cf. the Stoic Man- 
ilius i. 149, " Ignis in cethcreas voliicer se sustultt oras sujn- 
niaque complexns stellantis culmina Cixli, Flannnarum vallo 
natiirce mcenia fecit.'''' 

2 So Aristotle, Meteor, i. 3, 30. 'Opoj^tei/ Sfj rrji/ Kivt]cnv on 
Sup-arai 6ta/<ptVeiv tov aepa Kal eKirvpovu ioare Kal to. <})ep6iJ.€i'a 
rriKOf^eua (^aivevQai. TTokXaKiq. To ixev ovv yiyvtaOai Tr)v aAeai' K.a\ 
rriy 6epfx,6TrfTa, 'tKayrj cart Trapacr/ceutt^eu' Kal ij tou r}\iov <^opd 



70 



BASIL. 



from one region to another, for fear that, if 
it remanied always in the same place, its 
excessive heat would destroy the order of the 
universe. Now it passes into southern 
regions about the tim3 of the winter solstice, 
now it returns to the sign of the equinox; 
from thence it betakes itself to northern 
regions during the summer solstice, and 
keeps up by this imperceptible passage a 
pleasant temperature throughout all the 
world. 

Let the learned people see if they do not 
disa-'-ree amon;2f themselves. The water 
which the sun consumes is, they say, what 
prevents the sea from rising and flooding 
the rivers ; the warmth of the sun leaves 
behind the salts and the bitterness of the 
waters, and absorbs from them the pure and 
drinkable particles,' thanks to the singular 
virtue of this planet in attracting all that is 
light and in allowing to fall, like mud and 
sediment, all which is thick and earthy. From 
thence come the bitterness, the salt taste, 
and the power of withering and drying up, 
which are characteristic of the sea. While, 
as is notorious, they hold these views, they 
shift thjir ground and say that moisture can- 
not be lessened by the sun.^ 

8. " And God called the Ji7'7nament 
heaveii.'*'' ^ The nature of right belongs to 
another, and the firmament only shares it on 
account of its resemblance to heaven. We 
often find the visible region called heaven, 
on account of the density and continuity of 
the air within our ken, and deriving its name 
"■heaven" from the word which means to 
see/ It is of it that Scripture says, " The 
fowl of the air,"^ '' Fowl that may fly . . . 
in the open firmament of heaven;"^ and, 
elsewhere, "They mount up to heaven."^ 
Moses, blessing the tribe of Joseph, desires 
for it the fruits and the dews of heaven, of 
the suns of summer and the conjunctions of 
the moon, and blessings from the tops of the 
mountains and from the everlasting hills," ^ 



1 cf. Diog. Laert. vii. on Zeno. TpeVeo-flai 6e t3l efxirvpa 
TT.VTX <'xt Tl iWx aorpa, tov urjv rjAiov e»c T^s tJ.eyd\ri<; ^aAarrrjs. 
So Zeno, Chrysipptis, and Posidonius. 

2 Pliny (ii. 105, io|.) writes: " /toque soli's ardore siccatur 
liquor; . . . sic inari late patenti saporem i}icoqui salis,aut 
q^uict exhauHo inde dulci tcnuique, quod facillime trahat vis 
ijfnea, omiie asperi'i<i crassiusque linquatur : ideo summa 
cequaruni aqua dulciorem profundam : hanc esse veriorem 
causam asperi saporis, quam quod mare terrce sudor sit 
ceternus : aut quia plurimtim e.x arido misceatur illi vapore, 
aiit quia terrce natura sicut medicatas aquas inficiat.''* The 
first of these three theories was that of Hippocrates {De Aere, 
Locis, et Aquis, iv. 197) and of Anaximander (Plutarch Treol 
TOO/ dofcr/c, etc. ii. 55^). On the second x'/c/^ Arist., Prob. xxiii. 
30. The idea of the sea being- the earth's sweat was that of 
Empedocles. cf. Arist., Meteor, ii. i. 

'^ Gen. i. 8. 

* The derivation of ovoavo? from opaw is imaginary. Aris- 
totle {De Ccel. i. 19, 9) derives it from opo?, a boundarv. cf. 
'Ojc'^rjji/. The real root is the Skt. z;ar= cover. M. Miiller, 
Oxford Essays, 1856. 

"5 Ps. viii.'S. 7 Ps. cvii. 26. 

6 Gen. i. 20. 8 cf. Deut. xxxiii. 13-15, LXX. 



in one word, from all which fertilises the 
earth. In the curses on Israel it is said, 
" And thy heaven that is over thy head shall 
be brass." ^ What does this mean.^ It 
threatens him with a complete drought, with 
an absence of the aerial waters which cause 
the fruits of the earth to be brought forth 
and to grow. 

Since, then. Scripture says that the dew 
or the rain falls from heaven, we under- 
stand that it is from those waters which have 
been ordered to occupy the higher regions. 
When the exhalations from the earth, 
gathered together in the heights of the air, 
are condensed under the pressure of the wind, 
this aerial moisture difluses itseif in vaporous 
and light clouds; then mingling again, it 
forms drops which fall, dragged down by 
their own weight ; and this is the origin ot 
rain. When water beaten by the violence 
of the wind, changes irito foam, and passing 
through excessive cold quite freezes, it breaks 
the cloud, and falls as snovv.^ You can thus 
account for all the moist substances that the 
air suspends over our heads. 

And do not let any one compare with the 
inquisitive discussions of philosophers upon 
the heavens, the simple and inartificial char- 
acter of the utterances of the Spirit; as the 
beauty of chaste women surpasses that of a 
harlot,^ so our arguments are superior to 
those of our opponents. They only seek to 
persuade by forced reasoning. With us truth 
presents itself naked and without artifice. 
But why torment ourselves to refute the 
errors of philosophers, when it is sufficient to 
produce their mutually contradictory books, 
and, as quiet spectators, to watch the war.^^ 
For those thinkers are not less numerous, nor 
less celebrated, nor more sober in speech in 
fighting their adversaries, who say that the 
universe is being consumed by fire, and that 
from the seeds which remain in the ashes of 
the burnt world all is being brought to life 
again. Hence in the world there is de- 
struction and palingenesis to infinity.^ All, 
equally far from the truth, find each on their 
side bv-ways which lead them to error. 

9. But as far as concerns the separation 
of the waters I am obliged to contest the 



1 Deut. xxviii. 23. 

2 cf. Arist., Meteor, i. 9-12, and Plutarch Trepl r^v apea-K. etc. 
iii. 4- 

3 Fialon quotes Hor., Ep. i. iS : *' T// matrona meretrici 
dispar erit atqiie Discolor.''^ 

■t The well known " Per campos instructa, tua sine parte 
pericli suave etiatn belli certainuta magtia tueri^' (Lucr. ii.5) 
may be an echo of some Greek lines in the preacher's mind, 
just as the preceding " suave mari magno " is of Menandcr. 

5 *' These Stoical atheists did also agree with the generality 
of the other Stoical theists in supposing a successive iniinity of 
worlds generated and corrupted" (aTreiota «:6<rp.(oi') "by reason 
of intervening periodical conflagrations." Cudworth, 1. iii. 
23. 



THE HEXAEMERON. 



71 



opinion of certain writers In the Church ^ 
who, under the shadow of high and sublime 
conceptions, have hiunched out into meta- 
jDhor, and have only seen in the waters a 
figure to denote spiritual and incorporeal pow- 
ers. In the higher regions, above the firma- 
ment, dwell the better ; in the lower regions, 
earth and matter are the dwelling place of the 
malignant. So, say they, God is praised by 
the waters that are above the heaven, that is 
to say, by the good powers, the purity of 
whose soul makes them worthy to sing the 
praises of God. And the waters which are 
under the heaven represent the wicked spirits, 
who from their natural helo^ht have fallen 
into the abyss of evil. Turbulent, seditious, 
agitated by the tumultuous waves of passion, 
they have received the name of sea, because 
of the instabilitv and the inconstancy of their 
movements.^ Let us reject these theories as 
dreams and old women's tales. Let us un- 
derstand that by water water is meant ; for the 
dividing of the waters by the firmament let 
us accept the reason which has been given 
us. Although, however, waters above the 
heaven are invited to give glory to the Lord 
of the Universe, do not let us think of them 
as intelligent beings; the heavens are not 
alive because they " declare the glory of 
God," nor the firmament a sensible being 
because it " sheweth His handiwork." ^ And 
If they tell you that the heavens mean con- 
templative powers, and the firmament active 
powers which produce good, we admire 
the theory as iiigenious without being able 
to acknowledge the truth of it. For thus 
dev^, the frost, cold and heat, which in 
Daniel are ordered to praise the Creator of 
all things,'* will be intelligent and invisible 
natures. But this is only a figure, accepted as 
such by enlightened minds, to complete the 
glory of the Creator. Besides, the waters 
above the heavens, these waters privileged by 
the virtue which they possess in themselves, 
are not the only waters to celebrate the 
praises of God. " Praise the Lord from 
the earth, ye dragons and all deeps." ^ Thus 
the singer o£ the Psalms does not reject the 
deeps which our inventors of allegories rank 
in the divisions of evil ; he admits them to the 
universal choir of creation, and the deeps 
sing in their language a harmonious hymn 
to the glory of the Creator. 

10. '''' Ajtd God saw that it was good,''^ 
God does not judge of the beauty of His work 
by the charm of the eyes, and He does not 



1 i.e. Origen. 

2 cf. Jerome to Pammachius ag'ainsl John of Jerusalem. § 7 
(in this edition vol. vi. p. 42S) and Origen's Homily on Gene' 
sis, preserved in Uie Translation of Rutinus. 

* Ps. xviii. 1. * Bened. ^ Ps.cxlviii. 7. 



form the same idea of beauty that we do. 
What He esteems beautiful is that which 
presents in its perfection all the fitness ' of 
art, and that which tends to the usefulness of 
its end. He, then, who proposed to Himself 
a manifest design in His works, approved 
each one of them, as fulfilling its end in ac- 
cordance with His creative purpose. A hand, 
an eye, or any portion of a statue lying 
apart from the rest, would look beautiful to 
no one. But if each be restored to its own 
place, the beauty of proportion, until now 
almost unperceived, would strike even the 
most uncultivated. But the artist, before 
uniting the parts of his work, distinguishes 
and recognises the beauty of each of them, 
thinking of the object that he has in view. It 
Is thus that Scripture depicts to us the Supreme 
Artist, praising each one of His works ; soon, 
when His work is complete, He will accord 
well deserved praise to the whole together. 
Let me here end my discourse on the second 
day, to allow my industrious hearers to ex- 
amine what they have just heard. May their 
memory retain it for the profit of their soul; 
may they by careful meditation inwardly 
digest and benefit by what I say. As foV 
those who live by their work, let me allow 
them to attend all day to their business, so 
that they may come, with a soul free from 
anxiety, to the banquet of my discourse In 
the evening. May God who, after having 
made such great things, put such weak 
words in my mouth, grant you the Intelli- 
gence of His truth, so that you may raise 
yourselves from visible things to the invisible 
Being, and that the grandeur and beauty of 
creatures may give you a just idea of the 
Creator. For the visible things of Him from 
the creation of the world are clearly seen, and 
His power and divinity are eternal.^ Thus 
earth, air, sky, water, day, night, all visible 
things, remind us of who Is our Benefactor. 
We shall not therefore give occasion to sin, 
we shall not give place to the enemy within 
us. If by unbroken recollection we keep God 
ever dwelling in our hearts, to Whom be all 
glory and all adoration, now and for ever, 
world without end. Amen. 

^ KaKou fxeu ovv ecrrtv o av 8' avro alpeTOv 6v eiraiveTOv rj, r] b 
av ayaObv 6v riSv 77 on aya96v. Arist., Rhet. i. 9. 

cf. E. Burke' (0« the Sublime atid Beautiful, iii. § 6): 
" It is true that the infinitely wise and good creator has, of his 
bounty, frequently joined beauty to those things which he has 
made useful to us. But this does not prove th:'t our idea of 
use and beauty are the same thing, or that they are in any way 
dependent on each other." Dr. Johnson instances a painting 
on a coffee-cup as beautiful, but not useful. " Boswell," Aim. 
1772. St. Basil's idea is in accord with that of Ruskin (^Mod. 
P. chap. vi.). "In all high ideas of beauty it is more thiin 
probable that much of the pleasure depends on delicate and 
untraceable perception of fitness, propriety, and rehition, 
which are purely intellectual, and through wiiich we arrive at 
our noblest ideas of what is commonly and rightly called ' in- 
tellectual beauty.' " 2 cf. Rom. i. 20. 



72 



BASIL. 



HOMILY IV. 

Upo7i the gathering together cf the waters. 

1. There are towns where the inhabit- 
ants, from dawn to eve, feast their eyes on the 
tricks of innumerable conjurors. They are 
never tired of hearing dissolute songs which 
cause much impurity to spring up in their 
souls, and they are often called happy, be- 
cause they neglect the cares of business and 
trades useful to life, and pass the time, which 
is assigned to them on this earth, in idleness 
and pleasure. They do not know that a 
theatre full of impure sights is, for those 
who sit there, a common school of vice ; 
that these melodious and meretricious songs 
insinuate themselves into men's souls, and 
all who hear them, eager to imitate the 
notes ' of harpers and pipers, are filled with 
filthiness.^ Some others, who are wild after 
horses, think they are backing their horses 
in their dreams; they harness their chariots, 
change their drivers, and even in sleep are 
not free from the folly of the day.^ And 
shall we, whom the Lord, the great worker 
of marvels, calls to the contemplation of His 
own works, tire of looking at them, or be 
slow to hear the words of the Holy Spirit? 
Shall we not rather stand around the vast 
and varied workshop of divine creation and, 
carried back in mind to the times of old, 
shall we not view all the order of creation ? 
Heaven, poised like a dome, to quote the 
words of the prophet; ^ earth, this immense 
mass which rests upon itself; the air around 
it, of a soft and fluid nature, a true and con- 
tinual nourishment for all who breathe it, of 
such tenuity that it yields and opens at the 
least movement of the body, opposing no 
resistance to our motions, while, in a mo- 
ment, it streams back to its place, ])ehind 
those who cleave it; water, finally, that sup- 
plies drink for man, or may be designed for 
our other needs, and the marvellous gather- 
ing together of it into definite places which 
liave been assigned to it: such is the spec- 
tacle which the words which I have just read 
will show you. 

2. ''''And God said^ Let the waters under 
the heaven be gathered together unto one 



1 Koovixa, properly *' b":it," " stroke," is used of the blow of 
the plectrum on the striug-, and hence of the note produced. 

2 r/.^ Plato, Rep. iii. iS, ad init., and his reference to tlie 
" a\9aKo<; a(;)[(u>jT7j? of Homer, //. xvii. 5S6. The same subject is 
treated of the Lazi's ii. § 3 and 5 ;ind vii. 

^ cf. A.r.,JVub. 16, ovetaoTToAei iVTrou? and 27, oveLponoXel /cat 
<a0evS(ji)v imri.Krii'. So Cluudian, Dexi. Cons;. Ho7i. i, sq.: 
Omnia (jjks sensu volvuntur vof a diumo, 

Pectore sopito reddit arnica qiiies. 
Venator defessa toro cum membra reponit. 

Mens tamen ad sylvas et sua lustra redit. 
yudicihns lites, aUrigce somnia currus, 
Vanaque -nocturnis meta cavetur eqiiis, 
* Isa. xi. 22, L,XX. 



place^ and let the dry land appear^ and It 
was so." And the water which was under 
the heaven gathered together unto one place ; 
" And God called the dry land earth and the 
gathering together of the waters called He 
seas." ^ What trouble you have given me in 
my previous discourses by asking me why 
the earth was invisible, why all bodies are 
naturally endued with colour, and why all 
colour comes under the sense of sight. 
And, perhaps, my reason did not appear 
sufficient to }OU, when I said that the earth, 
without being naturally invisible, was so to 
us, because of the mass of water that en- 
tirely covered it. Hear then how Sci ipture 
explains itself. " Let the waters be gath- 
ered together, and let the dry land appear." 
The veil is lifted and allov/s the earth, 
hitherto invisible, to be seen. Perhaps 
you will ask me new questions. And first, 
is it not a law of nature that w^ater flows 
downwards? Why, then, does Scripture 
refer this to the fiat of the Creator? As 
long as winter is spread over a IcA'el surface, 
it does not flow ; it is immovable. But when 
it finds any slope, immediately the foremost 
portion falls, then the one that follows takes 
its place, and that one is itself replaced by a 
third. Thus incessantly they flow, pressing 
the one on the other, and the rapidity of 
their course is in proportion to the mass of 
water that is being carried, and the declivity 
down which it is borne. If such is the 
nature of water, it was supererogatory to 
command it to gather into one place. It 
was bound, on account of its natural in- 
stability, to fall into the most hollow part of 
the earth and not to stop until the levelling of 
its surface. We see how there is nothing so 
level as the surface of water. Besides, they 
add, how did the waters receive an order to 
gather into one place, when we see several 
seas, separated from each other by the great- 
est distances? To the first question I reply : 
Since God's command, you know perfectly 
well the motion of water ; you know that it 
is unsteady and unstable and falls naturally 
over declivities and into hollow places. But 
what was its nature before this command 
made it take its course ? You do not know 
yourself, an i you have heard from no eye- 
witness. Think, in reality, that a word of 
God makes the nature, and that this order is 
for the creature a direction for its future 
course. There was only one creation of day 
and night, and since that moment they have 
incessantly succeeded each other and divided 
time into equal parts. 

3. " Let the waters be gathered to- 

1 Gen. i. 9, 10. 



THE HEXAEMERON. 



71 



gether." It was ordered that it should be 
the natural property of water to flow, and 
in obedience to this order, the waters are 
never weary in their course. In s{)eaking 
thus, I have only in view the flowing prop- 
erty of waters. Some flow of their own ac- 
cord like springs and rivers, others are col- 
lected and stationary. But I speak now of 
flowing waters. '' Let the waters be gath- 
ered together unto one place." Have you 
never thought, when standing near a spring 
which is sending forth water abundantly. Who 
makes this water spring from the bowels of 
the earth? Who forced it up.^ Where are 
the store-houses which send it forth ? To 
what place is it hastening? How is it that 
it is never exhausted here, and never over- 
flows there? All this comes from that first 
command ; it was for the waters a signal for 
their course. 

In all the story of the waters remember 
this first order, -^ let the waters be gathered 
together." To take their assigned places 
they were obliged to flow, and, once arrived 
there, to remain in their place and not to go 
farther. Thus in the language of Ecclesias- 
tes, '' All the waters run into the sea ; yet 
the sea is not full." ^ Waters flow in virtue of 
God's order, and the sea is enclosed in limits 
according to this first law, " Let the waters 
be. gathered together unto one place." For 
fear the water should spread beyond its 
bed, and in its successive invasions cover 
one by one all countries, and end by flooding 
the whole earth, it received the order to gather 
unto one place. Thus we often see the furi- 
ous sea raising mighty waves to the heaven, 
and, when once it has touched the shore, break 
its impetuosity in foam and retire. " Fear 
ye not me, saith the Lord. . . . which have 
placed the sand for the bound of the sea." ^ 
A grain of sand, the weakest thing possible, 
curbs the violence of the ocean. For what 
would prevent the Red Sea from invading the 
whole of Egypt, which lies lower, and uniting 
itself to the other sea which bathes its shores, 
were it not fettered by the fiat of the Creator? 
And if I say that Egypt is lower than the 
Rjd Sea, it is because experience has con- 
vinced us of it every time that an attempt 
has been made to join the sea of Egypt ^ to 
the Indian Ocean, of which the Red Sea is a 
part.* Thus we have renounced this enter- 
prise, as also have the Egyptian Sesostris, 
who conceived the Idea, and Darius the Mede 
who after^vards wished to carry it out.^ 

1 Eccl. i. 6. -r. 2 jer. v. 22. ^ {^g. the Mediterninean. 

^ Geminum mare . . . quod Ruhrum dixere nostri . . . in 
duos dividitur stnu!^. Is qui ah oriente Persicus est . . . a/- 
teros'''iu Arahico nnminato. Plin.vi.2S. 

fi This illustration is taken from the work on which Basil 



I repoit this fact to make you understand 
the full force of the command, '' Let the 
waters be gathered unto one place " ; that is 
to say, let there be no other gathering, and, 
once gathered, let them not disperse. 

4. To say that the waters were gathered 
in one place indicates that previously they 
were scattered in many places. The moun- 
tains, intersected by deep ravines, accumu- 
lated water in their valleys, when from every 
direction the waters betook themselves to 
the one gathering place. What vast plains, 
in their extent resembling wide seas, what 
valleys, what cavities hollowed In many dlf- 
ferent w^ays, at that time full of water, must 
have been emptied by the command of God I 
But we must not therefore say, that If the 
water covered the face of the earth, all the 
basins which have since received the sea were 
originally full. Where can the gathering of 
the waters have come from if the basins were 
already full? These basins, we reply, were 
only prepared at the moment when the 
water had. to unite in a single mass. At 
that time the sea which is beyond Gadeira * 
and the vast ocean, so dreaded by navigators, 
which surrounds the isle of Britain and 
western Spain, did not exist. But, all of a 
sudden, God created this vast space, and the 
mass of waters flowed in. 

Now if our explanation of the creation of 
the world may appear contrary to experience, 
(because it is evident that all the waters 
did not flow together in one place,) many 
answers may be made, all obvious as soon as 
they are stated. Perhaps it is even ridicu- 
lous to reply to such objections. Ought they 
to bring forward In opposition ponds and 
accumulations of rain water, and think that 
this is enough to upset our reasonings? 
Evidently the chief and most complete 
aflBuence of the waters was what received 
the name of gathering unto one place. 
For wells are also gathering places for water, 
made by the hand of man to receive the 
moisture diffused in the hollow of the earth. 
This name of gathering does not mt an any 
chance massing of water, but the greatest 
and most important one, wherein the ele- 



has been so largely dependent, the Meteorology of Aristotle 
(i. 14, 548). Pliny (vi. 33) writes: *' Daneos Fortns, ex quo 
navigcibilem alveiim perducere in Nilum, qua parte ad Delta 
dictum decurrit Ixit. mill. D. Pass, iniervallo, quod inter 
Jlumen et Ruhrum mare inter est, primus omnium Sesostris 
Aigypti rex cogitavit ; mox Darius Persarnm ; deinde 
PtolemcEUS sequens" {i.e. Ptolemy II.) "... deterruit inun- 
dationis metus, excelsiore tribusnibitis Ruhro mari cot»p< rio 
quam terra jEgypti." Herodotus (ii. 15S) attributes tlecjimil 
to Necho. Strabo fxvii. 804) says Darius, in supposing 
Egypt to lie lower than the sea, was i/zevfiei Treio-^ets'. T ht- early 
canal, choked by sand, was reopened by Trajan, and choked 
again. Amron, Omar's general, again cleared it, but_ it was 
blocked A.D. 767. The present Suez Canal, opened in 1S69, 
follows a new course. 

' i.e. Cadiz, a corruption of Gadeira, wliich, like Geder and 
Gadara, is connected with the Phoenician Gadir, an enclosure. 



74 



BASIL. 



ment is shewn collected together. In the 
same way that lire, in spite of its being 
divided into minute particles which are suf- 
ficient for our needs here, is spread in a 
mass in tlie aether ; in the same way that 
air, in spite of a like minute division, has 
occupied the region round the earth ; so also 
water, in spite of the small amount spread 
abroad everywhere, only forms one gather- 
ing together, that which separates the whole 
element from the rest. Without doubt the 
lakes as well those of the northern regions 
and those that are to be found in Greece, in 
Macedonia, in Bithynia and in Palestine, are 
gatherings together of waters; but here 
it means the greatest of all, that gathering 
the extent of which equals that of the earth. 
The first contain a great quantity of water; 
no one will deny this. Nevertheless no one 
could reasonably give them the name of seas, 
not even if they are like the great sea, 
charged with salt and sand. They instance 
for example, the Lacus Asphaltitis in Judaea, 
and the Serbonian lake which extends be- 
tween Egypt and Palestine in the Arabian 
desert. These are lakes, and there is only 
one sea, as those affirm who have travelled 
round the earth. Although some authorities 
think the Hyrcanian and Caspian Seas are 
enclosed in their own boundaries, if we are 
to believe the geographers, they communi- 
cate with each other and together discharge 
themselves into the Qreat Sea.' It is thus 
that, according to their account, the Red Sea 
and that beyond Gadeira only form one. 
Then why did God call the difterent masses 
of water seas? This is the reason; the 
waters flowed into one place, and their dif- 
ferent accumulations, that is to say, the gulfs 
that the earth embraced in her folds, received 
from the Lord the name of seas : North Sea, 
South Sea, Eastern Sea, and Western Sea. 
The seas have even their own names, the Eux- 
ine, the Propontis, the Hellespont, the yE- 
gean, the Ionian, the Sardinian, the Sicilian, 
the Tyrrhene, and many other names of 
which an exact enumeration would now be 
too long, and quite out of place. See why 
God calls the gathering together of waters 
seas. But let us return to the point from 
which the course of my argument has di- 
verted me. 

5. And God said: '-''Let the waters be 
gathered together unto one place and let the 
dry la7td appear ^ He did not say let the 
earth appear, so as not to show itself again 
without form, mud-like, and in combination 



1 Pliny (vi. 15) shared a common error that the Caspian 
flowed into a Northern Sea. The eastern part was known as 
the Hyrcanian, the western ae the Caspian. Strabo xi. 507, et 
sg. 



with the water, nor yet endued with proper 
form and virtue. At the same time, lest we 
should attribute the drying of the earth to 
the sun, the Creator shows it to us dried 
before the creation of the sun. Let us fol- 
low the thought Scripture gives us. Not 
only the water which was covering the earth 
flowed ofl^ from it, but all that which had 
filtered into its depths withdrew in obedience 
to the irresistible order of the sovereign 
Master. And it was so. This is quite 
enough to show that the Creator's voice had 
eflect : however, in several editions, there is 
added '' And the water which was under 
the heavens gathered itself unto one place 
and the dry land was seen ; " words that other 
interpreters have not given, and which do 
not appear conformable to Hebrew usage. 
In fact, after the assertion, '* and it was so," 
it is superfluous to repeat exactly the same 
thing. In accurate copies diese words are 
marked v^'ith an obelus,* which is the sign of 
rejection. 

'' And God called the dry land earth ; and 
the gathering together of the waters called 
He seas^ ^ Why does Scripture say above 
that the waters were gathered together 
unto one place, and that the dry earth ap- 
peared.'^ Why does it add here the dry land 
appeared, and God gave it the name of 
earth.'' It is that dryness is the propertv 
which appears to characterize the nature of 
the subject, whilst the word earth is only 
its simple name. Just as reason is the dis- 
tinctive faculty of man, and the word man 
serves to designate the being gifted with this 
faculty, so dryness is the special and peculiar 
quality of the earth. The element essen- 
tially dry receives therefore the name of 
earth, as the animal who has a neigh for a 
characteristic cry is called a horse. The 
other elements, like the earth, have re- 
ceived some peculiar property which distin- 
guishes them frdm the rest, and makes them 
known for what they are. Thus water has 
cold for its distinguishing property ; air, 
moisture ; fire, heat. But this theory really 
applies only to the primitive elements of 
the world. The elements which contribute 
to the formation of bodies, and come under 
our senses, show us these qualities in com- 
bination, and in the whole of nature our 
eyes and senses can find nothing which 
is completely singular, simple and pure. 
Earth is at the same time dry and cold ; 

1 The obelus (f) is used by Jerome to mark superfluous 
matter in the !xx. cf. Jer. p. 494, in Canon Fremantle's 
Translation. The addition in question appears neither in the 
Vulgate, nor in Aquila, or Symmachus, or Theodotion. Am- 
brose, however, in Hexaem, iii. 5 approves of it. 

2 Gen. i. 10 



THE HEXAEMERON. 



7: 



water, cold and moist ; air, moist and warm ; 
fire, warm and dry. It is by the combina- 
tion of their quahties that the different ele- 
ments can mingle. Thanks to a common 
quality each of them mixes with a neigh- 
bouring element, and this natural alliance 
attaches it to the contrary element. For 
exaniple, earth, which is at the same time 
dry and cold, finds in cold a relationship 
which unites it to water, and by the means 
of water unites itself to air. Water placed 
b:itween tlie two, appears to give each a 
hand, and, on account of its double cj^uality, 
allies itself to earth by cold and to air bv 
moisture. Air, in its turn, takes the middle 
place and plays the part of a mediator be- 
tween the inimical natures of water and fire, 
united to the first by moisture, and to the 
second by heat. Finally, fire, of a nature 
at the same time warm and dry, is linked to 
air by warmth, and by its dryness reunites 
itself to the earth. And from this accord 
and from this mutual mixture of elements, 
results a circle and an harmonious choir 
whence each ofthe elements deserves its name. 
I have said this in order to explain why God 
has given to the dry land the name of earth, 
without however calling Ihe earth dry. It 
is because dryness is not one of those qual- 
ities which the earth acquired afterwards, 
but one of those which constituted its essence 
from the beginning. Now that which causes 
a bodv to exist, is naturally antecedent to its 
posterior quahties and has a pre-eminence 
over them. It is then with reason that God 
chose the most ancient characteristic of the 
earth whereby to designate it. 

6. ''''And God saw that it was goody ^ 
Scripture does not merely wish to say that a 
pleasing aspect of the sea presented itself to 
God. It is not with eyes that the Creator 
views the beauty of His works. He contem- 
plates them in His ineffable wisdom. A fair 
si^ht is the sea all brio^ht in a settled calm ; fair 
too, when, ruffled by a light breeze of wind, 
its surface shows tints of purple and azure, — 
when, instead of lashing with violence the 
neighbouring shores, it seems to kiss them 
with peaceful caresses. However, it is not 
in this that Scripture makes God find the 
goodness and charm of the sea. Here it is 
the purpose of the work which makes the 
goodness. 

In the first place sea water is the source 
of all the moisture of the earth. It filters 
through imperceptible conduits, as is proved 
by the subterranean openings and caves 
whither its waves penetrate ; it is received 
in oblique and sinuous canals ; then, driven 

1 Gen. i. lo. 



out by the wind. It rises to the surface of 
the earth, and breaks it, having become 
drinkable and free from its bitterness by 
this long percolation. Often, moved by the 
same cause, it springs even from mines that it 
has crossed, deriving warmth from them, 
and rises boiling, and bursts forth of a burn- 
ing heat, as may be seen in islands and on 
the sea coast; even inlantl in certain places, 
in the neighbourhood of rivers, to compare 
little things with great, almost the same 
phenomena occur. To what do these 
words tend ? To prove that the earth is all 
undermined with invisible conduits, where 
the water travels everywhere underground 
from the sources of the sea. 

7. Thus, in the eyes of God, the sea is 
good, because it makes the under current of 
moisture in the depths of the earth. It 
is good again, because from all sides it 
receives the rivers without exceeding Its 
limits. It is good, because it Is the origin 
and source of the waters In the air. Warmed 
by the rays of the sun, it escapes in vapour, 
is attracted into the high regions of the air, 
and is there cooled on account of its rising 
high above the refraction of the rays from the 
gi ound, and, the shade ofthe clouds adding to 
this refrigeration, it is changed into rain and 
fattens the earth. If j:)eople are incredulous, 
let them look at caldrons on the fire, which, 
though full of water, are often left empty 
because all the water is boiled and resolved 
Into vapour. Sailors, too, boil even sea 
water, collecting the vapour in sponges, to 
quench their thirst In pressing need. 

Finally the sea is good in the eyes of God, 
because it girdles the isles, of which it forms 
at the same time the ram part and the beauty, 
because it brings together the most distant 
parts of the earth, and facilitates the inter- 
communication of mariners. By this means 
it gives us the boon of general information, 
supplies the merchant with his wealth, and 
easily provides for the necessities of life, 
allowing the rich to export their superfluities, 
and blessing the poor with the supply of 
what they lack. 

But whence do I perceive the goodness of 
the Ocean, as it appeared in the eyes of the 
Creator .f^ If the Ocean is good and worthy 
of praise before God, how much more beau- 
tiful is the assembly of a Church like this, 
where the voices of men, of children, and of 
women, arise in our prayers to God mingling 
and re-sounding like the waves which beat 
upon the shore. This Church also enjoys a 
profound calm, and malicious spirits cannot 
trouble it with the breath of heresy. Deserve, 
then, the approbation of the Lord by remain- 



76 



BASIL. 



ing faithful to such good guidance, in our 
Lord Jesus Christ, to whom be glory and 
power for ever and ever. Amen. 

HOMILY V. 

The Germination of the Earth. 

I. '"''And God said Let the earth bring 
forth grass^ the hei'b yielding sced^ and the 
yruit tree yielding fruit after his kiizd^ 
whose seed is in itself.^' ^ It w^as deep wis- 
dom that commanded the earth, when it 
rested after discharging the weii^^ht of the 
waters, first to bring forth grass, then wood, 
as we see it doing still at this time. For the 
voice that was then heard and this command 
were as a natural and permanent law for it; 
it gave fertility and the power to produce fruit 
for all ages to come; " Let the earth bring 
forth." The production of vegetables shows 
first germination. When the germs begin to 
sprout they form grass ; this develops and 
becomes a plant, which insensibly receives 
its different articulations, and reaches its 
maturity in the seed. Thus all things which 
sprout and are green are developed. '^ Let 
the earth bring forth green grass." Let the 
earth bring forth by itself without having any 
need of help from without. Some consider 
the sun as the source of all productiveness 
on tlie earth. It is, they say, the action of 
the sun's heat which attracts the vital force 
from the centre of the earth to the surface. 
The reason why the adornment of the earth 
was before the sun is the following ; that 
those who worship the sun, as the source of 
life, may renounce their error. If they be well 
persuaded that the earth was adorned before 
the genesis of the sun, they will retract their 
unbounded admiration for it, because they see 
grass and plants vegetate before it rose.^ If 
then the food for the flocks was prepared, 
did our race appear less worthy of a like 
solicitude? He, who provided pasture for 
horses and cattle, thought before all of your 
riches and pleasures. If he fed your cattle, 
it was to provide for all the needs of your 
life. And what object was there in the 
bringing forth of grain, if not for your sub- 
sistence? Moreover, many grasses and vege- 
tables serve for the food of man. 

2. *''• Let the earth brijig forth grass yield- 
ing seed after his kind'' So that although 
some kind of grass is of service to animals, 
even their gain is our gain too, and seeds 
are especially designed for our use. Such 



1 Gen. i. II. 

2 Empedocles, according to Plutarch (Trept twv ape'cr»f, etc. 
V. 342) TTpoiTa Titiv i^uiiov TO. ScvSpa eK yri<; avaSyuai (})ri(TL, Tvplu to)/ 
r)\iOV Tr€pi.aTr\(od^yat. /cat irplu i]ixipav Kal vvKTa Sia/cpt^rji'ai. 



is the true meaning of the words that I have 
quoted. '' Let the earth bring forth grass, 
the herb yielding seed after his kind." In 
this manner we can re-establish the order of 
the words, of which the construction seems 
faulty in the actual version, and the economy 
of nature will be rigorously observed. In 
fact, first comes germination, then verdure, 
then the growth of the plant, which after 
having attained its full growth arrives at 
perfection in seed. 

How then, they say, can Scripture describe 
all the plants of the earth as seed-bearing, 
when the reed, couch-grass,^ mint, crocus, 
garlic, and the flowering rush and countless 
other species, produce no seed? To this we 
reply that many vegetables have their seminal 
virtue in the lower part and in the roots. 
The reed, for example, after its annual 
growth sends forth a protuberance from its 
roots, which takes the place of seed for 
future trees. Numbers of other vegetables 
are the same and all over the earth repro- 
duce by the roots. Nothing then is truer 
than that each plant produces its seed or 
contains some seminal virtue; this is what 
is meant by " after its kind." So that the 
shoot of a reed does not produce an olive 
tree, but from a reed grows another reed, and 
from one sort of seed a plant of the same 
sort always germinates. Thus, all which 
sprang from tlie earth, in its first bringing 
forth, is kept the same to our time, thanks 
to the constant reproduction of kind.^ 

*' Let the earth bring forth." See how, 
at this short word, at this brief command, 
the cold and sterile enrth travailed and 
hastened to bring forth its fruit, as it cast 
away its sad and dismal covering to clothe 
itself in a more brilliant robe, proud of its 
proper adornment and displaying the infinite 
variety of plants. 

I want creation to penetrate you with so 
much admiration that everywhere, wherever 
you may be, the least phmt may biing to you 
the clear remembrance of the Creator. If 
you see the grass of the fields, think of human 
natiu'e, and remember the comparison of the 
wise Isaiah. " All flesh is grass, and all the 
goodliness thereof is as the flower of the 
field." Truly the rapid flow of life, the 
short gratification and pleasure that an in- 
stant of happiness gives a man, all wonder- 
fully suit the comparison of the prophet. 
To-day he is vigorous in body, fattened by 
luxury, and in the prime of life, with com- 
plexion fair like the flowers, strong and pow- 

1 Triticum repens. 

2 On the history of this doctrine, of which Linn?eus was 
the latest great exponent, and its contradiction in Darwin, see 
Haeckel's Schopfungsgeschichtey vol. i. ch. 2. 



THE HEXAEMERON. 



77 



erful and of irresistible energy ; tomorrow 
and he will be an object of pity, withered by 
age or exhausted by sickness. Another shines 
in all the splendour of a brilliant fortune, 
and around him are a multitude of flatterers, 
an escort of false friends on the track of his 
good graces ; a crowd of kinsfolk, but of no 
true kin ; a swarm of servants who crowd 
after him to provide for his food and for all 
his needs ; and in his comings and goings 
this innumerable suite, which he drasrs after 
him, excites the envy of all whom he meets. 
To fortune maybe added power in the State, 
honours bestowed by the imperial throne, the 
government of a province, or the command of 
armies ; a herald who precedes him is crving 
in a loud voice ; lictors right and left also fill 
his subjects with awe, blows, confiscations, 
banishments, imprisonments, and all the 
means by which he strikes intolerable terror 
into all whom he has to rule. And what 
then? One night, a fever, a pleurisy, or an 
inflammation of the lungs, snatches away 
this man from the midst of men, stripped in 
a moment of all his stage accessories, and all 
this, his glory, is proved a mere dream. 
Therefore the Prophet has compared human 
glory to the weakest flower. 

3. Up to this point, the order in which 
plants shoot bears witness to their first ar- 
rangement. Every herb, every plant proceeds 
from a germ. If, like the couch-grass and the 
crocus, it throws out a shoot from its root and 
from this lower protuberance, it must always 
germinate and start outwards. If it proceeds 
from a seed, there is still, by necessity, first a 
germ, then the sprout, then green foliage, 
and finally the fruit which ripens upon a 
stalk hitherto dry and thick. " Let the 
earth bring forth grass." When the seed 
falls into the earth, which contains the riglit 
combination of heat and moisture, it swells 
and becomes porous, and, grasping the sur- 
rounding earth, attracts to itself all that is 
suitable for it and that has afiinity to it. 
These particles of earth, however small they 
may be, as they fall and insinuate themselves 
into all the pores of tlie seed, broaden its 
bulk and make it send forth roots below, and 
shoot upwards, sending forth stalks no less 
numerous than the roots. As the germ is 
always growing warm, the moisture, pumped 
up through the roots, and helped by the at- 
traction of heat, draws a proper amount of 
nourishment from the soil, and distributes it 
to the stem, to the bark, to the husk, to the 
seed itself and to the beards with which it 
is armed. It is owing to these successive 
accretions that each plant attains its natural 
development, as well corn as vegetables, 



herbs or brushwood. A single plant, a 
blade of grass is sufficient to occupy all your 
intelligence in the contemplation of the skill 
which produced it.' Why is the wheat stalk 
better with joints?^ Are they not like fas- 
tenings, which help it to bear easily the 
weight of the ear, when it is swollen with 
fruit and bends towards the earth? Thus, 
whilst oats, which have no weight to bear at 
the top, are without these supports, nature 
has provided them for wheat. It has hidden 
the grain in a case, so that it may not be ex- 
posed to birds' pillage, and has furnished it 
with a rampart of barbs, which, like darts, 
protect it against the attacks of tiny creatures. 
4. What shall I say? What shall I leave 
unsaid? In the rich treasures of creation it 
is difficult to select what is most precious ; 
the loss of what is omitted is too severe. 
"Let the earth bring forth grass ; " and in- 
stantly, with useful plants, appear noxious 
plants; with corn, hemlock; with the other 
nutritious plants, helleborc, monkshood, 
mandrake and the juice of the poppy. What 
then? Shall we show no gratitude for so 
many beneficial gifts, and reproach the 
Creator for those which mav be harmful to 
our life? And shall we not reflect that all 
has not been created in view of the wants of 
our bellies? The nourishing plants, which 
are destined for our use, are close at hand, 
and known by all the world. But in crea- 
tion nothing exists without a reason. The 
blood of the bull is a poison : ^ ought this 
animal then, whose strength is so serviceable 
to man, not to have been created, or, if 
created, to have been bloodless? But you 
have sense enough in yourself to keep you 
free from deadly things. What ! Sheep and 
goats know how to turn away from what 
threatens their life, discerning danger by in- 
stinct alone : and you, who have reason and 
the art of medicine to supply what you need, 
and the experience of your forebears to tell 
you to avoid all that is dangerous, you tell me 
that you find it difficult to keep yourself from 
poisons! But not a smgle thing has been 
created without reason, not a single thing is 
useless. One serves as food to some animal ; 
medicine has found in another a relief for 
one of our maladies. Thus the starling 
eats hemlock, its constitution rendering it 
insusceptible to the action of the poison. 

1 " To me the meanest flo^ver that blows can give 

Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears." 

Wordsworth, Ode on Immortality. 

2 Literally, knee — 'L.TiWn genictilnm . cf. Xen., Anah. iv. 5, 
26, and Theoph. viii. 2, 4. "Knee-jointed" is a recognised 
English term for certain grasses. 

3" Taurorum {sanguis) pestifer pottc inaxi'nc.''^ rii'i. xi. 
90. Taurimis recens iytter venena est, 2d. xxviii. 41. c/". Dioa- 
corid. in Alexiph. 25. 



78 



BASIL. 



Thanks to the tenuity of the pores of its 
lieart, the mnhgnant juice is no sooner swal- 
lowed than it is digested, before its chill can 
attack the vital parts.' The quail, thanks to 
its peculiar temperament, whereby it escapes 
the dangerous effects, feeds on hellebore. 
There are even circumstances where poisons 
are useful to men ; with mandrake ^ doctors 
give us sleep; with opium they lull violent 
pain. Hemlock has ere now been used to 
appease the rage of unruly diseases ; ^ and 
many times hellebore has taken away long 
standing disease.'* These plants, then, in- 
stead of making 3^du accuse the Creator, give 
you a new subject for gratitude. 

^, ^'' Let the earth bring forth gi^ass,"*^ 
What spontaneous provision is included in 
these words, — that which is present in the 
root, in the plant itself, and in the fruit, as 
well as that which our labour and husbandry 
add! God did not command the earth im- 
mediately to give forth seed and fruit, but 
to produce germs, to grow green, and to 
arrive at maturity in the seed ; so that this 
first command teaches nature what she lias 
to do in the course of ages. But, they ask, 
is it true that the earth produces seed after 
his kind, when often, after having sown 
wheat, we gather black grain } This is not 
a change of kind, but an alteration, a disease 
of the grain. It has not ceased to be wheat ; 
it is on account of having been burnt that it 
is black, as one can learn from its name.^ 
If a severe frost had burnt it,^ it would have 
h.ad another colour and a different flavour. 
They even pretend that, if it could find suit- 
able earth and moderate temperature, it 
might return to its. first form. Thus, you 
find nothing in nature contrary to the divine 
command. As to the darnel and all those 
bastard grains which mix themselves with the 
harvest, the tares of Scripture, far from being 
a variety of corn, have their own origin and 
their own kind ; image of those who alter the 
doctrine of the Lord and, not being rightly 
instructed in the word, but, corrupted by the 
teaching of the evil one, mix themselves with 
the sound body of the Church to spread their 
pernicious errors secretly among purer souls. 
The Lord thus compares the perfection of 
those who believe in Him to the grov/th of 
seed, "as if a man should cast seed into the 

1 cf. Gnlen. De Simp. Pac. iii. 

2 6 fj^avSpay6pa<i tou? drflpuuTTOU? KOljai^et, Xen., Symp. ii. 24. 

3 cf. Aretaeus, De Morh. Aetit. ii. 11. 

4 The Black If elleboie, or Christmas Rose, is a recogriised 
alterative. Whether this is the jilant of Anticyra is doubtful. 

6 7rvpo? = \vheat. The root, which has nothing to do with 
trva, is found by Curtius in the Shivonic/>j/r<3 = rye, the Bohe- 
mian /yr=quitch grrass,the Lettish ///;7Y = wheat, and the 
Lithuanian/j/r«_55^«.f = wheaten bread. (L. & S. in loc.) 

^ cf. Virg., Geora-. \. g^: "yl//^ ForecB pcnetrabile frig-us 
adurat." Ov . M. xiv. 763, Frigiis adurat poma^ and in 
Greek Arist.., Meteor, iv. 5. 



ground ; and should sleep and rise, night 
and day, and the seed should spring and grow 
up, he knoweth not how. For the earth 
bringeth forth fruit of herself ; first the blade, 
then the ear, after that the full corn in the 
ear.*'^ "Let the earth bring forth ^rass." 
In a moment earth began by germination 
to obey the laws of the Creator, completed 
every stage of growtii, and brought germs 
to perfection. The meadows were covered 
with deep grass, the fertile plains quivered^ 
with harvests, and the movement of the 
corn was like the waving of the sea. Every 
plant, every herb, the smallest shrub, the 
least vegetable, arose from the earth in 
all its luxuriance. There was no failure in 
this first vegetation : no husbandman's inex- 
perience, no inclemency of the weather, 
nothing could injure it; then the sentence of 
condemnation v/as not fettering the earth's 
fertility. All this was before the sin which 
condeirmed us to eat our bread by the sweat 
of our brow. 

6. '•'' Let the carth^^ the Creator adds, 
" bring forth thefriLit tree yielding frtiit 
after his kind., whose seed is in itself i*^ ^ 

At this command every copse was thickly 
planted ; all the trees, fir, cedar, cypress, 
pine, rose to their greatest height, the shrubs 
were straightway clothed with thick foliage.^ 
The plants called crown-plants, roses, 
myrtles, laurels, did not exist ; in one mo- 
ment they came into being, each one with its 

distinctive neculiarities. Most marked dif- 

J. 

ferences separated them from other plants, 
and each one was distinguished by a char- 
acter of its own. But then the rose was 
without thorns ; since then the thorn has been 
added to its beaut}', to make us feel that sor- 
row is very near to pleasure, and to remind us 
of our sin, which condemned the earth to pro- 
duce thorns^ and caltrops. But, they say, 
the earth has received the command to pro- 
duce trees " yielding fruit whose seed was in 
itself," and we see many trees which have 
neither fruit, nor seed. What shall we re- 
ply.? First, that onl}^ the more important 
trees are mentioned ; and then, that a careful 
examination will show us that every tree has 
seed, or some property which takes the 
place of it. The black poplar, the willow, 
the elm, the white poplar, all the trees of 
this family, do not produce any apparent 
fruit ; however, an attentive observer finds 



iMatt. iv.26-2S. 

2 cf. Hor7'escunt segetes. Virg., Georg. iii. 39. 

3 Gen. i. 1 1. 

4 aM.(/)t/coaoi /crti Satrec?. cf. Milton, " With frizzled hair im- 
plicit." P.L. vii. 

fi cf. Milton, P.L., B. iv., «' Flowers of all hue and without 
thorn the rose," and August. De Getiesi contra Manichteos, 
i.13. 



THE HEXAEMERON. 



79 



seed in each of them. This grain which is 
at the base of the leaf, and which those who 
busy themselves with inventing words call 
mischos, has the property of seed. And 
there are trees which reproduce by their 
branches, throwing out roots from them. 
Perhaps we ought even to consider as seeds 
the saplings which spring from the roots of a 
tree : for cultivators tear them out to multiply 
the species. But, we have already said, it is 
chiefly a question of the trees whicii contrib- 
ute most to our life ; which offer their various 
fruits to man and provide him with plen- 
tiful nourishment. Such is the vine, which 
])roduces wine to make glad the heart of 
man ; such is the olive tree, whose fruit 
brlGfhtens his face with oil. How manv 
things in nature are combined in the same 
plant ! In a vine, roots, green and flexible 
branches, which spread themselves far over 
the earth, buds, tendrils, bunches of sour 
grapes and ripe grapes. The sight of a vine, 
when observed by an intelligent eye', serves 
to remind you of your nature. Without 
doubt you remember the parable \vhere the 
Lord calls Himself a vine and His Father 
the husbandman, and every one of us who 
are grafted by faith into the Church the 
branches. He invites us to produce fruits in 
abundance, for fear lest our sterility should 
condemn us to the fire. ^ He constantly com- 
pares our souls to vines. " My well be- 
loved," says He, " hath a vineyard in a 
very fruitful hill," ^ and elsewhere, I have 
'• planted a vineyard and hedged it round 
about." "^ Evidentlv He calls human souls 
His vine, those souls whom He has sur- 
rounded with the authority of His precepts 
and a guard of angels. '' The angel of the 
Lord encampeth round about them that fear 
him."^ And further: He has planted for 
us, so to say, props, in establishing in His 
Church apostles, prophets, teachers;^ and 
raising our thoughts by the example of the 
blessed in olden times, He has not allowed 
them to drasT on the earth and be crushed 
under foot. He wishes that the claspings 
of love, like the tendrils of the vine, should 
attach us to our neighbours and make us 
rest on them, so that, in our continual as- 
pirations towards heaven, we may imitate 
these vines, which raise themselves to the 
tops of the tallest trees. He also asks us to 
allow ourselves to be dug about ; and that 
is what the soul does when it disembarrasses 
it!>eli from the cares of the world, which are 
a weight on our hearts. He, then, who is 



* cf. S.John XV. 1-6. 

2 Isa. V. I. 

8 Matt. xxi. 33. 



4 Ps. xxxiv. 7. 
6 cf, I Cor. xii. 2S. 



freed from carnal affections and from the 
love of riches, and, far from being dazzled 
by them, disdains and despises this miserable 
vain glory, is, so to say, dug about and 
at length breathes, free from the useless 
weight of earthly thoughts. Nor must we, 
in the spirit of the parable, put forth loo 
much wood, that is to say, live with ostenta- 
tion, and gain the applause of the world ; we 
must bring forth fruits, keeping the proof of 
our works for the husbandman. Be " like 
a green olive tree in the house of God,"' 
never destitute of hope, but decked through 
faith with the bloom of salvation. Thus you 
will resemble the eternal verdure of this plant 
and will rival it in fruitfulness, if each da} sees 
you giving abundantly in alms. 

7. But let us return to the examination 
of the inofenious contrivances of creation. 
How many trees then arose, some to give us 
their fruits, others to roof our houses, others 
to build our ships, others to feed our fires! 
What a variety in the disposition of their 
several parts! And yet, how difficult is it to 
find the distinctive property of each of them, 
and to grasp the difference which separates 
them from other species. Some strike deep 
roots, others do not; some shoot straight 
up and have only one stem, others appear to 
love the earth and, from their root u[ wards, 
divide into several shoots. Those wliose 
long branches stretch up afar into the air, 
have also deep roots which spread within 
a larsre circumference, a true foundation 
placed by nature to support the weight of 
the tree. What variety there is in baik! 
Some plants have smooth bark, others rough, 
some have only one layer, others several. 
What a marvellous thing! You may find in 
the youth and age of plants resemblances to 
those of man. Yovmg and vigorous, their 
bark is distended ; when they grow old, it is 
rough and wrinkled. Cut one, it sends forth 
new buds ; the other remains henceforward 
sterile and as if struck with a mortal wound. 
But further, it has been observed that 
pines, cut down, or even submitted to the 
action of fire, are changed into a forest of 
oaks.^ We know besides that the industry 
of agriculturists remedies the natural defects 

iPs. Hi. 8. 

2 The phenomenon has been observed in hiter days, though 
Basil may he at fault in his account of ih.e cause. When pines 
have been cleared away in North American forests yrung oak- 
liners have sprung- up. The acorn lay )on<^ hid, unable to con- 
tend ag-ainst the pine, but, when once the ground was clear, it 
sprouted. This upgrowth of a new kind of tree has been ac- 
counted for partly by the burial of germs by javs, rroks, and 
some quadrupeds; i)artly bv the theory of De Candolle and 
Liebig that roots ox[)el certain substances which, though un- 
favourable lo the vitaiitv of the plant excreting them, are ca- 
pable of supporting others. So, on the pine pressure being 
removed, the hidden seeds sprout in a kind of veirctnble 
manure, cf. Sir Charles Lyell's Travels in the United States 
and Rough's Elements of Forestry, p. 19. 



8o 



BASIL. 



of certain trees. Thus the sharp pomegran- 
ate and bitter ahnonds, if the trunk of the 
tree is pierced near the root to introduce into 
the middle of the pith a fat plug of pine, lose 
the acidity of their juice, and become deli- 
cious fruits/ Let not the sinner then despair 
of himself, when he thinks, if agriculture can 
change the juices of plants, the efforts of 
the soul to arrive at viitue, can certainly 
triumph over all infirmities. 

Now there is such a variety of fruits in 
fruit trees that it is beyond all expression ; 
a variety not only in the fruits of trees of 
different families, but even in those of the 
same species, if it be true, as gardeners 
say, that the sex of a tree influences the 
character of its fruits. They distinguish 
male from female in pahns ; sometimes we 
see those which they call female lower their 
branches, as though with passionate desire, 
and invite the embraces of tlie male. Then, 
those who take care of these plants shake 
over these palms the fertilizing dust from 
the male palm-tree, the fse7t as they call 
it : the tree appears to share the pleasures 
of enjoyment ; then it raises its branches, 
and its foliage resumes its usual form. 
The same is said of the fig tree. Some 
plant wild fig trees near cultivated fig trees, 
and there are others who, to remedy the 
weakness of the productive fig tree of our 
gardens, attach to the branches unripe figs 
and so retain the fruit which had already 
begun to drop and to be lost. What lesson 
does nature here give us? That we must 
often borrow, even from those who are 
strangeis to the faith, a certain vigour to 
show fortli good works. If you see outside 
the Church, in pagan life, or in the midst of 
a pernicious heresy, the example of virtue 
and fidelity to moral laws, redouble your 
efforts to resemble the productive fig tree, 
who by the side of the wild fig tree, gains 
strength, prevents the fruit from being shed, 
and nourishes it with more care. 

8. Plants reproduce themselves in so 
many different ways, that we can only touch 
upon the chief among them. As to fruits 
themselves, who could review their varieties, 
their forms, their colours, the peculiar flavour, 
and the use of each of them ? Why do some 
fruits ripen when exposed bare to the rays 
of the sun, while others fill out while encased 
in shells? Trees of which the fruit is tender 
have, like the fig tree, a thick shade of 
leaves; those, on the contrary, of which the 

1 Ambrose, Heyaevi . iii. \\, writes : Amvffdali!^ qjinque hoc 
ffenere medicari fenintur agricolcs, ut ex amari>t diilres fiant 
frurtus, ut it terebreiit ejus radicem arhoris, et I7t wedium /;/- 
serant Rurciilnni ejus arboris qtinm Grceci -rv'vxy^v, nos picearn 
dicimus : quo facto succi amaritudo deponitur. 



fruits are stouter, like the nut, are only 
covered by a light shade. The delicacy of 
the first requires more care ; if the latter liad 
a thicker case, the shade of the leaves would 
be harmfid. Why is the vine leaf serrated, 
if not that the bunches of grapes may at the 
same time resist the injuries of the air and 
receive through the openings all the rays of 
the sun? Nothing has been done without 
motive, nothing by chance. All shows in- 
effable wisdom.' 

What discourse can touch all? Can the 
human mind make an exact review, remark 
every distinctive property, exhibit all the 
differences, unveil with certainty so many 
mysterious causes ? The same water, pumped 
up through the root, nourishes in a difl'erent 
way the root itself, the bark of the trunk, the 
wood and the pith. It becomes leaf, it dis- 
tributes itself among the branches and twigi; 
and makes the fruits swell — it gives to the 
plant its gum and its sap. Who will explain 
to us the difference between all these ? There 
is a difference between the gum of the mas- 
tlch and the juice of the balsam, a difference 
between that which distils in Egypt and 
Libya from the fennel. Amber is, they 
say, the crystallized sap of plants. And 
for a proof, see the bits of straws and 
little insects which have been caught in the 
sap while still liquid and imprisoned there. 
In one word, no one without long experience 
could find terms to express the virtue of it. 
How, again, does this water become wine in 
the vine, and oil in the olive tree? Yet 
what is marvellous is, not to see it become 
sweet in one fruit, fat and unctuous in 
another, but to see in sweet fruits an inex- 
pressible variety of flavour. There is one 
sweetness of the grape, another of the apple, 
another of the fig, another of the date. I 
shall willingly give you the gratification of 
continuing: this research. How is it that 
this same water has sometimes a sweet taste, 
softened by its remaining in certain plants, 
and at other times stings the palate be- 
cause it has become acid by passing 
through others? How is it, again, that it 
attains extreme bitterness, and makes the 
mouth rough when it is found in wormwood 
and in scammony? That it has in acorns 

1 Onthearg-ument from desio^n, cf. Ar\'s.\.o\.\&, De Part. Antm. 
iii. I, as quoted and translated bvCudwnrth, III. xxxvii.3 : "A 
carpenter would give a better account than so, for he would 
not think it sufficient to say that the fabric came to be of such 
a form because the instruments happened to fall so and so, 
but he will tell you that it is because himself made such 
strokes, and that he directed the instruments and determined 
their motion after such a manner, to this end that he might 
make the whole a fabric fit and useful for such purposes." On 
the strength and we:il<ness of the argument from design, in 
view of modern speculation, suggestive matter is contained in 
Dr. Eagar's Buther's Analogy and Modern Thought, p. 49 
et sq. 



THE HEXAEMERON. 



8i 



and dogwood a sharp and rough flavour? 
That in the turpentine tree and the walnut 
tree it is changed into a soft and oily matter? 

9. But what need is there to continue, 
when in the same fig tree we have the most 
opposite flavours, as bitter in the sap as it is 
sweet in the fruit? And in the vine, is it 
not as sweet in the grapes as it is astringent 
in the branches? And what a variety of 
colour ! Look how in a meadow this same 
water becomes red in one flower, purple in 
another, blue in this one, white in that. 
And this diversity of colours, is it to be 
compared to that of scents? But I perceive 
that an insatiable curiosity is drawing out 
my discourse beyond its limits. If I do not 
stop and recall it to the law of creation, day 
will fciil me whilst making you see great 
wisdom in small things. 

" Let the earth bring forth the fruit tree 
yielding fruit.'''' Immediately the tops of 
the mountains v^^ere covered with foliage ; 
paradises were artfully laid out, and an in- 
finitude of plants embellished the banks of 
the rivers. Some were for the adornment 
of man's table; some to nourish animals 
with their fruits and their leaves; some to 
provide medicinal help by giving us their 
sup, their juice, their chips, their bark or 
their fruit. In a word, the experience of 
ages, profiting from every chance, has not 
been able to chscover anything useful, which 
the penetrating foresight of the Creator did 
not first perceive and call into existence. 
Therefore, when you see the trees in our 
gardens, or those of tlie forest, those which 
love the v^^ater or the land, those which bear 
flowers, or those which do not flower, I 
should like to see you recognising grandeur 
even in small objects, adding incessantly to 
your admiration of, and redoubling your love 
for the Creator. Ask yourself why He has 
made some trees evergreen and others decidu- 
ous ; why, among the first, some lose their 
leaves, and others always keep them. Thus 
the olive and the pine shed their leaves, 
although they renew them insensibly and 
never appear to be despoiled of their verd- 
ure. The palm tree, on the contrary, from 
its birth to its death, is always adorned with 
the same foliage. Think again of the double 
life of the tamarisk ; it is an aquatic plant, 
and yet it covers the desert. Thus, Jere- 
miah compares it to the worst of characters 
— the double character.^ 

10. ''^ Let the earth bring forthy This 
short command was in a moment a vast 
nature, an elaborate system. Swifter than 



» cf. Jer. xvii. 6, LXX. 



thought it produced the countless qualities 
of plants. It is this command which, still 
at this day, is imposed on the earth, and in 
the course of each year displays all the 
strength of its power to produce herbs, 
seeds and trees. Like tops, which after the 
first impulse, continue their evolutions, turn- 
ing upon themselves when once fixed in 
their centre; thus nature, receiving the im- 
pulse of this first comiuand, follows without 
interruption the course of ages, until the 
consummation of all things.' Let us all 
hasten to attain to it, full of fruit and of 
good works; and thus, planted in the house 
of the Lord we shall flourish in the court of 
our God,^ in our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom 
be glory and power for ever and ever. 
Amen. 

HOMILY VI. 

The creatioji of Imninous bodies. 

I. At the shows :n the circus the spectator 
must join in the efforts of the athletes. This 
the laws of the show indicate, for thev pre- 
scribe that all should have the head uncov- 
ered when present at the stiidium. Ihe 
object of this, in my opinion, is that each on6 
there should not only be a spectator of the 
athletes, but be, in a certain measure, a true 
athlete himself.^ Thus, to investi<j;^ate the 
great and prodigious show of creation, to 
understand supreme and ineffable wisdom, 
you must bring personal light for the contem- 
plation of the wonders which I spread before 
your eyes, and help me, according to your 
power, in this struggle, where you are not 
so much judges as fellow combatants,^ for fear 
lest the truth might escape you, and lest my 
error might turn to your common preju- 
dice. Why these words? It is because we 
propose to study the world as a whole, and 
to consider the universe, not by the light of 
worldly wisdom, but by that with which 

^ *^ Ac mihi guidem videtur^ cum dtice se7ite7itice. fuissoit 
veteruin philosopJiortim, una eorum qui ceiiserent oinjiia ita 
fato fieri, ut id f alum vim 7iecessitatis offer ret, in qua sen- 
tentia Democritus, Iferacliius, Empedocles, Aristoteles ftiii ; 
altera eorum, quibus viderentur sine jillo fato esse animorum 
motus voluntarii : Clirysippus tanquam arbiter honorarfus, 
vt odium fer ire voluisse . . . quanquam assensio von pass it fieri 
nisi comniota visa, iamen cum id visum proximam causa 'n 
habeat, non principalem banc hnbet rationem, ut Clirysippus 
xmit, quam dudum diximus,non, ut ilia quidem fieri possif, 
nulla vi extrinsecus excitata, necesse est enim assensionem 
visa commoveri, sed revertitur ad cylindrum, et od turbinem 
suum, qua moveri inripere, nisi pulsa non passu nt : id autem 
cum accidit suapte natura, quoa supcrest et cylindrum volvi, 
et versari turbinem putaty (Cic, Defato. xviii.) 

2 cf. Ps. xcii. 13. 

3 In the Theatrum spectators might be covered, cfi. Mart. 
xiv. 29: 

" In Pompeiano tectus spectabo theatro ; 
Nam vent us populo vela neffare solet.''^ 
cf. Dion Cassius lix. 7. These passages may, however, in- 
dicate exceptional cases. 

* cf. Greg., In Ez. : Propter bonos nuditores mails doctor i- 
bus sermo datur : et propter malos auditores bonis doctor ibus 
sermo subtrahitur. 



82 



BASIL. 



God wills to enlighten His servant, when He 
speaks to him in person and without enigmas. 
It is hecause it is absolutely necessary that all 
lovers of great and grand shows should bring 
a mind well prepared to study them. If some- 
times, on a bright night,' whilst gazing with 
watchful eyes on the inexpressible beauty of 
the stars, you have thought of the Creator of 
all things; if you have asked yourself who 
it is that has dotted heaven with such flow- 
ers, and why visible things are even more 
useful than beautiful ; if sometimes, in the 
day, you have studied the marvels of light, 
if you have raised yourself by visible things 
to the invisible Being, then you are a well 
prepared auditor, and you can lake your 
place in this august and blessed amphitheatre. 
Come in the same way that any one not 
knowing a town is taken by the hand and led 
through it; thus I am going to lead you, like 
strangers, through the mysterious marvels of 
this great city of the universe.^ Our first 
country was in this great city, whence the 
murderous daemon whose enticements se- 
duced man to slavery expelled us. There you 
will see man's first origin and his immediate 
seizure by death, brought forth by sin, the 
first born of the evil spirit. You will know 
that you are formed of earth, but the work of 
God's hands ; much weaker than the brute, 
but ordained to command beings without 
reason and soul ; inferior as regards natural 
advantages, but, thanks to the privilege of 
reason, capable of raising yourself to heaven. 
If we are penetrated by these truths, we shall 
know ourselves, we shall know God, we 
shall adore our Creator, we shall serve our 
Master, we shall glorify our Father, we 
shall love our Sustainer, we shall bless our 
Benefactor, we shall not cease to honour the 
Prince ^ of present and future life, Who, by 
the riches that He showers upon us in this 
world, makes us believe in His promises and 
uses present good things to strengthen our 
expectation of the future. Truly, if such are 
the good things of time, what v»'ill be those 
of eternity.? If such is the beauty of visible 
things, what shall we think of invisible 



i"By night an atheist h.-rlf believes in God." Younar, 
N.T.v. 177. f/. also Cic, De nnt. Deor. ii. 3S : ^uis cnim 
hunc homijiem dixerit^ qui tarn certos cceli motus, tarn ratos 
astrorum ordines, tamqite omnia ister se connexa et apta 
7nderit,neget in his ullam iiiesse rationem,eaque casu fieri 
dirat, quce quanta consilio gerantuVt nulla cansilio assequi 
possumus 

2 cf. Cic, De Nat. Deor. ii. 62. Est enim minidus quasi com- 
munis deorum aiqae homiyium dovius, out urbs utrorumque. 
Soli etiam ratione utentes. Jure ac lege vivunt. Rp. Light- 
foot quotes in illustration of Phil. iii. 20, Philo, De Conf. i. 416, 
M. narpiSa ^ev rhv oiipdyLov xo)pou ei/ iL ^roAiTeiioi'Tat ^--I'oi/ Sf 
Toj/ Trep-.'-yeiov iv (L rrapuiKrio-av voixi^ovaai. So Clem. Alex., Strom. 
IV. 26, \eyovai. yap oi ^twikoI tov f/.ef ovpavov /cvpi'w? n6\tv tOl 
6e errl -j/t)? kvTavda ovk cti TroAet?, Ae'yecr^at yHo, ovk eluat Si, and 
Plato, Re/>. ix. ^g2, B. ei' ovpavaJ laws irapdSeLyixa (rrjs ttoAcw?) 
dvaKfLTai. Tw ^ouAojOie'i/a) opav /cal opwyTi. eavTOV KaTOi.Ki^eii'. 

8 c/. Acts iii. 15. 



things.? If the grandeur of heaven exceeds 
the measure of human intelligence, what mind 
shall be able to trace the nature of the evet- 
lasting.? If the sun, subject to corruption, is 
so beautiful, so grand, so rapid in its move- 
ment, so invariiible in its course ; if its gran- 
deur is in such perfect harmony with and 
due proportion to the universe : if, by the 
beauty of its nature, it shines like a brilliant 
eye in the middle of creation ; if finally, one 
cannot tire of contemplating it, what will be 
the beauty of the Sun of Righteousness : ^ If 
the blind man sufiers from not seeing the 
material sun, what a deprivation is it for the 
sinner not to enjoy the true light ! 

2. '''' A7zd God said^ Let the7'e be lights 
ill the firmament of the heaven to give light 
upon the earthy aizd to divide the day fir om 
the nlght'^ ^ Heaven and earth were the 
first; after them was created light; the day 
had been distinguished from the night, then 
had appeared the firmament and the dry 
element. The water had been gathered into 
the reservoir assigned to it, the earth dis- 
played its productions, it had caused many- 
kinds of herbs to germinate and it w^as 
adorned with all kinds of plants. However, 
the sun and the moon did not yet exist, in 
order that those who live in ignorance of 
God may not consider the sun as the origin 
and the father of light, or as the maker of all 
that grows out of the earth. ^ That is why 
there was a fourth day, and then God said : 
*' Let there be lights in the firmament of the 
heaven." 

When once you have learnt Who spoke, 
think immediately of the hearer. God said, 
•■' Let there be lights . . . and God made 
two great lights." Who spoke.? and Who 
made.? Do you not see a double person.? 
Everywhere, in mystic language, history is 
sown with the dogmas of theology. 

The motive follows which caused the 
lights to be created. It w^as to illuminate 
the earth. Already light was created ; why 
therefore say that the sun was created to give 
light.? And, first, do not laugh at the 
strangeness of this expression. We do not 
follow your nicety about words, and we 
trouble ourselves but little to give them a 
harmonious turn. Our writers do not amuse 

If/. Mai. iv. 2. 2Gen. i. 14, LXX. 

■"^ Fialon quotes Bossuet (5th eiev. .^d week): *^ Ainsi il o 
fait la Inviiere avant que de faire les grands lumiiiaires ok il 
a voulu la ramasser : et ilafail la distinction des jours avant 
que d' avoir cree les astres dont il s'est servi pour les rtgler 
parfaitement : et le soir et le matin ont ete distingues, avant 
que leur distinction et la division parfaite du Jour et de la 
null flit bien marquee; et les arbres^et les arbusles, et les lierbes 
ont gcrme sur la terre par ordrc de Dieu, avant qu' il cut J a it 
Ic soleil, qui devait ttre le plre de toutes ces plan les ; et il a 
di'tache expres les effets d'avec leurs causes tiaturelles, pour 
montrer que naturellement tout ne tient qWa lui seul, et ne 
depend que de sa seule volo7ite.'* 



THE HEXAEMERON 



83 



themselves by polishins^ their periods, and 
everywhere we prefer clearness of words to 
sonorous expressions. See then if, by this ex- 
pression '' to light up," the sacred writer suffi- 
ciently made his tliought understood. He 
has put " to give light " * instead of *' illumi- 
nation." ^ JNow there is nothing here con- 
tradictory to what has been said of light. 
Then the actual nature of light was produced : 
now the sun's body is constructed to be a 
vehicle for that original light. A lamp is 
not fire. Fire has the property of illuminat- 
ing, and we have invented the lamp to light 
us in darkness. In the same way, the lu- 
minous bodies have been fashioned as a 
vehicle for that pure, clear, and imma- 
terial light. The Apostle speaks to us of 
certain lights which shine in the world ^ 
without being confounded with the true light 
of the world, the possession of which made 
the saints luminaries of the souls which they 
instructed and drew from the darkness of 
ignorance. This is why the Creator of all 
things, made the sun in addition to that 
glorious light, and placed it shining in the 
heavens. 

3. And let no one suppose it to be a 
thins: incredible that the brio:htness of the 
light is one thing, and the body which is its 
material vehicle is another. First, in all com- 
posite things, we distinguish substance sus- 
ceptible of quality, and the quality which it 
receives. The nature of whiteness is one 
thing, another is that of the body which is 
whitened; thus the natures differ which we 
have just seen reunited by the pov^^er of the 
Creator. And do not tell me that it is im- 
possible to separate them. Even I do not 
pretend to be able to separate light from the 
body of the sun ; but I maintain that that which 
we separate in thought, may be separated in 
reality by the Creator of nature. You cannot, 
moreover, separate the brightness of fire 
from the viitue of burning which it pos- 
sesses; but God, who wished to attract His 
servant by a wonderful sight, set a fire in the 
burning bush, which displayed all the brill- 
iancy of flame while its devouring property 
was dormant. It is that which the Psalmist 
affirms in savingr ^' The voice of the Lord 
divideth the flames of fire."** Thus, in the 
requital which awaits us after this life, a 
mvsterious voice seems to tell us that the 
double nature of fire will be divided ; tlie 
just will enjoy its light, and the torment of 
its heat will be the torture of the wicked. 

In the revolutions of the moon we find a 



1 f^aOcri?, the act of giving- lio^lit, LXX. 

2 (jbtoTto-iao?. tiie condinoa prod need by (/)au<ris. 
s c/. Phil, ii, 15. * Ps. xxix. 7. 



new proof of what we have advanced. 
When it stops and grows less it does not 
consume itself in all its body, but in the 
measure that it deposits or absorbs the light 
which surrounds it, it presents to us the 
image of its decrease or of its increase. If 
we wish an evident proof that the moon 
does not consume its body when at rest, we 
have only to open our eyes. If you look at 
it in a cloudless and clear sky, you observe, 
when it has taken the complete form of a 
crescent, that the part, which is dark and not 
lighted up, describes a circle equal to that 
which the full moon forms. Thus the eye 
can take in the whole circle, if it adds to the 
illuminated part this obscure and dark curve. 
And do not tell me that the light of the moon 
is borrowed, diminishing or increasing in 
proportion as it approaches or recedes from 
the sun. That is not now the object of our 
research ; we only wish to prove that its 
body differs from the light which makes it 
shine. I wish you to have the same idea of 
the sun ; except however that the one, after 
having once received light and having mixed 
it with its substance, does not lay it down 
again, whilst the other, turn by turn, putting 
oflT and reclothing itself again with light, 
proves by that which takes placein itself 
what we have said of the sun. 

The sun and moon thus received the com- 
mand to divide the day from the night. God 
had already separated light from darkness ; 
then He placed their natures in opposition, so 
that they could not mingle, and that there 
could never be anything in common between 
darkness and light. You see what a shadow 
is during the day; that is precisely the nature 
of darkness during the night. If, at the ap- 
pearance of a light, the shadow always falls 
on the opposite side ; if in the morning it 
extends towards the setting sun ; if in the 
evening it inclines towards the rising sun, 
and at mid-day turns towards the north ; 
night retires into the regions opposed to the 
rays of the sun, since it is by nature only the 
shadow of the earth. Because, in the same 
way that, during the day, shadow is pro- 
duced by a body which intercepts the light, 
night comes naturally when the air which 
surrounds the earth is in shadow. And this 
is precisely what Scripture says, "God 
divided the light from the darkness." Thus 
darkness fled at the approach of light, the 
two being at their first creation divided b\' 
a natural antipathy. Now God commanded 
the sun to measure the day, and the moon, 
whenever she rounds her disc, to rule the 
night. For then these two luminaries arc 
almost diametrically opposed ; when the sun 



84 



BASIL. 



rises, the full moon disappears from the 
horizon, to re-appear in the east at the 
moment the sun sets. It matters little to our 
subject if in other phases the light of the 
moon does not correspond exactly with night. 
It is none the less true, that when at its per- 
fection it makes the stars to turn pale and 
lightens up the earth with the splendour of 
its light, it reigns over the night, an^l in con- 
cert with the sun divides the duration of it in 
equal parts. 

4. '-• And let them be for signs ^ and for 
seasons^ and for days and years.'''' ' The signs 
which the luminaries give are necessary to 
human life. In fact what useful observa- 
tions will long experience make us discover, 
if we ask without undue curiosity ! What 
signs of rain, of drought, or of the rising ot'the 
wind, partial or general, violent or moderate ! 
Our Lord indicates to us one of the signs 
given by the sun when He says, '' It will be 
foul weather to-day ; for the sky is red and 
lowering." ^ In fiict, when the sun rises 
through a fog, its rays are darkened, but the 
disc appears burning like a coal and of a 
bloody red colour. It is the thickness of the 
air which causes this appearance ; as the rays 
of the sun do not disperse such amassed 
and condensed air, it cannot certainly be re- 
tained by the waves of vapour which exhale 
from the earth, and it will cause from supera- 
bundance of moisture a storm in the coun- 
tries over which it accumulates. In the same 
way, when the moon is surrounded with 
moisture, or when the sun is encircled with 
what is called a halo, it is the sign of heavy 
rain or of a violent storm ; again, in the same 
way, if mock suns accompany the sun in its 
course they foretell certain celestial phenome- 
na. Finally, those straight lines, like the 
colours of the rainbow, which are seen on 
the clouds, announce rain, extraordinary 
tempests, or, in one word, a complete change 
in the weather. 

Those who devote themselves to the ob- 
servation of these bodies find signs in the 
different phases of the moon, as if the air, 
by which the earth is enveloped, were obliged 
to vary to correspond with its change of 
form. Towards the third day of the new 
moon, if it is sharp and clear, it is a sign of 
fixed fine weather. If its horns appear thick 
and reddish it threatens us either with heavy 
rain or with a gale from the South. ^ Who 
does not know how useful "* are these signs in 

1 Gen. i. 14. 2 st. Matt. xvi. 3. 

•* TTiivTr) yap Kadapfj k€ /oiaA* evBia TeK|U.7jpato, navra 6' ipevOo- 
fieVjj 6oKeeiv areVoto Ke\€vOov<;, a\\o0L 6' aAAo ixe\atyotievjl SoKeeLV 
veroio. Aratus 70. * cf. Versr., Geo}'or.\. ^24: 

Si vero t^ofem ad rapidum lunasque aequentes 
OrJine respicies. minqiiam ie crastina fallet 
Jlora, neque nisidiis noctis capiere seretice. 



life.f* Thanks to them, the sailor keeps back 
his vessel in the harbour, foreseeing the perils 
with which the winds threaten him, and the 
traveller beforehand takes shelter from harm, 
waiting until the weather has become fairer. 
Thanks to them, husbandmen, busy with 
sowing seed or cultivating plants, are able to 
know which seasons are favourable to their 
labours. Further, the Lord has announced 
to us that at the dissolution of the universe, 
signs will appear in the sim, in the moon and 
in the stars. The sun siiall be turned into 
blood and the moon shall not give her light,' 
signs of the consummation of all things. 

5. But those who overstep the borders,^ 
making the words of Scripture their apology 
for the art of casting n-ativities, pretend 
that our lives depend upon the motion of 
the heavenly bodies, and that thus the Chnl- 
daeans read in the planets that which will 
happen to us.^ By these very simple words 
'•'- let them be for signs," they understand 
neither the variations of the weather, nor 
the change of seasons ; they only see in 
them, at the will of their imagination, the 
distribution of human destinies. What do 
they say in realitv.^ When the planets cross 
in the signs of the Zodiac, certain figures 
formed by their meeting give birth to cer- 
tain destinies, and others produce different 
destinies. 

Perhaps for clearness sake it is not useless 
to enter into more detail about this vain 
science. I will say nothing of my own to 
refute them; I will use their words, bringing 
a remedy for the infected, and for others a 
preservative from fulling. The inventors of 
astrolos;v seeins" that in the extent of time 
many signs escaped them, divided it and en- 
closed each part in narrow limits, as if in the 
least and shortest interval, in a moment, in 
the twinkling of an eye,'* to speak with the 
Apostle, the greatest difference should be 
found between one birth and another. Such 
an one is born in this moment ; he will be a 
prince over cities and will govern the people. 



1 Basil seems to be confusinsr Joel ii. 31 and Matt. xxiv. 29. 

2uTreo TO. i(TKafj.uieva TTrjSaw is a proverbial phrase for going- 
beyond bounds, cf. Lucinn., GaH. vi. and Plat., Crat. 413, a. 

3«« On doit iV ant ant plus louer le grand setis de Saint Basile 
qui s'' inspire presqu'' entierejuent d' Orig'tne et de Plot in, sans 
tomber dans leur erretir. En riant toute espece de relation 
entre les astres et les actes de Vhomme, il conserve intacte 
not re liberie." Fialon, p. 421;. " ^uale delude judicium de 
hominum factis Deo reli7iquitur, quibus ccelestis necessitas 
adhibetur cum Dominus ille sit et siderum et hominum. Aut 
si no7t dicunt stellas accepta quidam potestate a summo Deo, 
arbitrio suo ista decernere, sed in talibus necessitatibus itiger- 
endis illius omnino Jussa complere, ita ne de ipso Deo sentien- 
dum est, quod indignissimum visum est de stellarum roluntate 
sentire. ^iiod si dicuntur stellce signijicare potius ista quam 
facere, ut quasi locutio sit qucedam ilia posit io preedicens 
futura, non agcns (non enim mediocriter doctorum hominum 
fuit ista sententia) non quidem ita sole?it loqui mathematici, 
ut ve>bi gratia dicunt. Mars ita positus homicidam signifi- 
cat, sed homicidam nonfacit.'" August., De C. Dei, v. i. 

* I Cor. XV. 52. 



THE HEXAEMERON. 



85 



ill the fulness of riches and power. Another 
is born the instant after; he will be poor, 
miserable, and will wander daily from door 
to door beggino^ his bread. Consequently 
they divide the Zodiac into twelve parts, and, 
as the sua takes thirty days to traverse each 
of the twelve divisions of this unerring circle, 
they divide them into thirty more. Each of 
them forms sixty new ones, and these last 
are again divided into sixty. Let us see then 
if, in determiningthe birth of an infLUit, it will 
be possible to observe this rigorous division 
of time. The child is born. The nurse 
ascertains the sex ; then she awaits the wail 
which is a sisfn of its life. Until then how 
many moments have passed do you think .^ 
The nurse announces the birth of the child 
to the Chaldsean : how many minutes would 
you count before she opens her mouth, es- 
pecially if he who records the hour is outside 
the women's apartments.'^ And we know 
that he who consults the dial, ought, whether 
by day or by night, to mark the hour with 
the most precise exactitude. What a swarm 
of seconds passes during this time ! For 
the planet of nativity ought to be found, not 
only in one of the twelve divisions of the 
Zodiac, and even in one of its first sub-divi- 
sions, but again in one of the sixtieth parts 
which divide this last, and even, to arrive at 
the exact truth, in one of the sixtieth sub- 
divisions that this contains in its turn. And, 
to obtain such minute knowledge, so iinpos- 
sible to grasp from this moment, each 
planet must be questioned to find its position 
as resrards the sis^ns of the Zodiac and the 
figures that the planets form at the inoment 
of the child's birth. Thus, if it is impossi- 
ble to find exactly the hour of birth, and if the 
least change can upset all, then both those 
who give themselves up to this imaginary 
science and those who listen to them open- 
mouthed, as if they could learn from them 
the future, are supremely ridiculous. 

6. But what effects are produced .f^ Such 
an one will have curly hair and bright eyes, 
because he is born under the Ram ; such is 
the appearance of a ram. He will have 
noble feelings; because the Ram is born 
to command. He will be liberal and fertile 
in resources, because this animal gets rid of 
its fleece without trouble, and nature imme- 
diately hastens to reclothe it. Another is born 
under the Bull : he will be enured to hard- 
ship and of a slavish character, because the 
bull bows under the yoke. Another is born 
under the Scorpion ; like to this venomous 
reptile he w^ill be a striker. He who is born 
under the Balance will be just, thanks to the 
justness of our balances. Is not this the 



height of folly ? This Ram, from whence you 
draw the nativity of man, is the twelfth part 
of the heaven, and in entering into it the sun 
reaches the spring. The Balance and the 
Bull are likewise twelfth parts of the Zodiac. 
How can you see there the principal causes 
which influence the life of man.'' And why 
do you take animals to characterize the man- 
ners of men who enter this world .^ He 
who is born under the Ram will be liberal, 
not because this part of heaven gives this 
characteristic, but because such is the nature 
of the beast. Why then should we frighten 
ourselves by the names of these stars and 
undertake to persuade ourselves with these 
bleatings.^ If heaven has diflerent character- 
istics derived from these animals, it is then 
itself subject to' external influences since its 
causes depend on the brutes who graze in 
our fields. A ridiculous assertion ; but how 
much more ridiculous the pretence of arriv- 
ing at the influence on each other of things 
which have not the least connexion ! This 
pretended science is a true spider's web; 
if a gnat or a fly, or some insect equally 
feeble falls into it it is held entangled ; 
if a stronger animal approaches, it passes 
through without trouble, carrying the weak 
tissue away with it.^ 

7. They do not, however, stop here ; 
even our acts, where each one feels his will 
ruling, I mean, the practice of virtue or of 
vice, depend, according to them, on the in- 
fluence of celestial bodies. It would be 
ridiculous seriouslv to refute such an error, 
but, as it holds a great many in its nets, 
perhaps it is better not to pass it over in 
silence. I would first ask them if the figures 
which the stars describe do not change a 
thousand times a day. In the perpetual 
motion of planets, some meet in a more 
rapid course, others make slower revolutions, 
and often in an hour we see them look at 
each other and then hide themselves. Now, 
at the hour of birth, it is very important 
whether one is looked upon by a beneficent 
star or by an evil one, to speak their lan- 
guage. Often then the astrologers do not 
seize the moment when a good star shows 
itself, and, on account of having let this 
fugitive moment escape, they enrol the new- 
born under the influence of a bad genius. 
I am compelled to use their own words. 
What madness! But, above all, what im- 
piety! For the evil stars throw the blame 
of their wickedness upon Him Who rrade 
them. If evil is inherent in their nature, the 



l'E/\e-ye5e . . . tov? t'O^i-ou? rot? aoaxfioL'; o^otou? • Kau yiio 
BLatcoipaf OL;^ecri>ai. Solon, in Diog'. L,aert, ii. i. 



S6 



BASIL. 



Creator is the author of evil. If they make 
it themselves, they are animals endowed 
with the power of choice, whose acts will be 
free and voluntary. Is it not the height of 
folly to tell these lies about beings without 
souls? Again, what a want of sense does it 
show to distribute good and evil without re- 
gard to personal merit ; to say that a star is 
beneficent because it occupies a certain place ; 
that it becomes evil, because it is viewed by 
another star; and that if it moves ever so 
little from this figure it loses its malign in- 
fluence. 

But let us pass on. If, at every Instant of 
duration, the stars vary their figures, then in 
these thousand changes, many times a day, 
there ought to be reproduced the configuration 
of royal births. Why then does not every 
day see the birth of a king? Why is there a 
succession on the throne from father to son ? 
Without doubt there has never been a king 
who has taken measures to have his son 
born under the star of royalty. For what 
man possesses such a power? How then 
did Uzziah beget Jotham, Jotham Ahaz, 
Ahaz Hezekiah? And by what chance 
did the birth of none of them happen in 
an hour of slavery? If the origin of our 
virtues and of our vices is not in ourselves, 
but is the fatal consequence of our birth, it 
is useless for legislators to prescribe for us 
what we ought to do, and what we ought to 
avoid ; it is useless for judges to honour 
virtue and to punish vice. The guilt is not 
in the robber, not in the assassin : it was 
willed for hi in ; it was impossible for him 
to hold back his hand, urged to evil by in- 
evitable necessity. Those who laboriously 
cultivate the arts are the maddest of men. 
The labourer will make an abundant harvest 
without sowing seed and without sharpening 
his sickle. Whether he wishes it or not, 
the merchant will make his fortune, and will 
be flooded with riches by fate. As for us 
Christians, we shall see our great hopes 
vanish, since from the moment that man 
does not act with freedom, there is neither 
reward for justice, nor punishment for sin. 
Under the reign of necessity and of fatality 
there is no place for merit, the first condition 
of all righteous judgment. But let us stop. 
You who are sound in yourselves have no 
need to hear more, and time does not allow 
us to mike attacks without limit against 
these unhappy men. 

8. Let us return to the words which fol- 
low. " Let them be for signs and for 
seasons and for days and years." ' We have 



1 Gen. i. 14. 



Spoken about signs. By times, we under- 
stand the succession of seasons, winter, 
spring, summer and autumn, which we see 
follow each other in so regular a course, 
thanks to the regularity of the movement 
of the luminaries. It is winter when 
the sun sojourns in the south and pro- 
duces in abundance the shades of night 
in our region. The air spread over the 
earth is chilly, and the damp exhalations, 
which gather over our heads, give rise to 
rains, to frosts, to innumerable flakes of snow. 
When, returning from the southern regions, 
the sun is in the middle of the heavens and 
divides day and night into equal parts, the 
more it sojourns above the earth the more it 
brings back a mild temperature to us. Then 
comes spring, which makes all the plants 
germinate, and gives to the greater part of 
the trees their new life, and, by successive 
generation, perpetuates all the land and 
water animals. From thence the sun, return- 
ing to the summer solstice, in the direction 
of the North, gives us the longest days. And, 
as it travels farther in the air, it burns that 
which is over our heads, dries up the earth, 
ripens the grains and hastens the matur- 
ity of the fruits of the trees. At the epoch 
of its greatest heat, the shadows which 
the sun makes at mid-day are short, because 
it shines from above, from the air over 
our heads. Thus the longest days are 
those when the shadovv^s are shortest, in tlie 
same way that the shortest days are those 
when the shadows are longest. It is this 
which happens to all of us '' Hetero-skii " * 
(shadowed-on-one-side) who inhabit the 
northern regions of the earth. But there 
are people who, two days in the year, are 
completely without shade at mid-day, be- 
cause the sun, being perpendicularly over 
their heads, lights them so equally from 
all sides, that it could through a narrow 
opening shine at the bottom of a well. 
Thus there are some who call them *' askii '* 
(shadowless) . For those who live beyond 
the land of spices ^ see their shadow now 
on one side, now on another, the only 
inhabitants of this land of which the shade 
falls at mid-day ; thus they are given the 
name of '• amphiskii," ^ (shadowed-on-both- 

^t.e. thrnwina: a shadow only one way at noon, — said of 
those who live north and south of the tropics, while those 
who live in the tropics cast a shadow sometimes north, some- 
times south, vt'de Strabo ii. 5, § 4,v It was '* incredible " to 
Herodotus that Necho's Phoenician mariners, in their circum- 
navigation of Africa, had "the sun on their right hand." Her. 
iv. 42. 

2 i.e. Arabia, cf. Toucan., Phars. iii. 247 : 

/i^notum vohi's Arahes venistis in orhem. 
Umbras mirati nemoru7n non ire sinistras. 

3" Simili modo tradiint in Syene oppido , qund e<:t super 
Alexandriatn quinque millihus stadiorum, solsfitii die medio 
nullam umbram j'aci ; pixtetimque ejus exp>iritiie)Ui gratia 



THE HEXAEMERON. 



87 



sides). All these phenomena happen whilst 
the sun is passing into northern regions: 
they give us an idea of the heat thrown on 
the air, by the rays of the sun and of the 
ertects that they produce. Next we pass to 
autumn, which bieaks up the excessive heat, 
lessening the warmth little by little, and by 
a moderate temperature brings us back with- 
out sufiering to winter, to the time when the 
sun returns from the northern regions to the 
southern. It is thus that seasons, following 
the course of the sun, succeed each othei to 
rule our life. 

" Let them be for days " ^ says Scripture, not 
to produce them but to rule them ; because 
day and night are older than the creation 
of the luminaries and it is this that the psalm 
declares to us. '' The sun to rule by day 
. . . the moon and stars to rule by night." ^ 
How does the sun rule by day? Because 
carrying everywhere light with it, it is no 
sooner risen above the horizon than it drives 
away darkness and brings us day. Thus 
we might, without self deception, define day 
as air lighted by the sun, or as the space of 
time that the sun passes in our hemisphere. 
The functions of the sun and moon serve 
farther to mark years. The moon, after 
having twelve times run her course, forms a 
year which sometimes needs an intercalary 
month to make it exactly agree with the sea- 
sons. Such was formerly the year of the 
Hebrews and of the early Greeks.^ As to the 
solar year, it is the time that the sun, having 
started from a certain sign, takes to return to 
it in its normal progress. 

9. *' Afid God made two great lights y'^ 
The word " great," if, for example we say it 
of the heaven of the earth or of the sea, may 
have an absolute sense: but ordinarilv it has 
only a relative meaning, as a great horse, or 
a great ox. It is not that these animals are 
of an immoderate size, but that in compari- 
son with their like they deserve the title of 
great. What idea shall we ourselves form 
here of greatness? Shall it be the idea that 
we have of it in the ant and in all the little 
creatures of nature, which we call great in 
comparison with those like themselves, and 
to show their superiority over them? Or 
shall we predicate greatness of the lumina- 
ries, as of the natural greatness inherent in 
them? As for me, I think so. If the sun 
and moon are great, it is not in comparison 



with the smaller stars, but because they have 
such a circumference that the splendour 
which they diffuse lights up the heavens 
and the air, embracing at the same time earth 
and sea. In whatever part of heaven thev 
may be, whether rising, or setting, or in mid 
heaven, they aj^pear always the same in the 
eyes of men, a manifest proof of their pro- 
digious size. For the whole extent of heaven 
cannot make tliern appear greater in one 
place and smaller in another. Obiects 
which we see afar off appear dwarfed to our 
eyes, and in measure as they approach us 
we can form a juster idea of their size. But 
there is no one who can be nearer or more 
distant from the sun. All the inhabitants of 
the earth see it at the same distance. Indians 
and Britons see it of the same size. The 
people of the East do not see it decrease in 
magnitude when it sets ; those of the West 
do not find it smaller when it rises. If it is 
in the middle of the heavens it does not vary 
in either aspect. Do not be deceived by 
mere appearance, and because it looks a 
cubit's iDreadth, imagine it to be no bigger.^ 
At a very great distance objects always lose 
size in our eyes ; sight, not being able to 
clear the intermediary space, is as it were 
exhausted in the middle of its course, and 
only a small part of it reaches the visible 
object.^ Our power of sight is small and 
makes all we see seem small, affecting what 
it sees by its own condition. Thus, then, if 
sight Is mistaken its testimony is fallible. 
Recall your own impressions and you will 
find in yourself the proof of my words. If 
you have ever from the top of a high moun- 
tain looked at a large and level plain, how^ 
big did the yokes of oxen appear to you ? How 
big were the ploughmen themselves? Did 
they not look like ants? ^ If from the top of 
a commanding rock, looking over the wide 
sea, you cast your eyes over the vast extent 
how big did tho greatest islands appear to 



factum, tottim ilhiminari.'''' Pliny ii- 75- cf.'L.wc^n.fPhars, 
507, " atque umbras nunqtiam Jiectinte Syene.'''' 

^ Gen. i. 14. 2 ps. cxxxvi. 8, 9. 

3 The Syrians and Macedonians had also an intercalary 
thirteenth month to accommodate the lunar to the solar cvcle. 
Solon is credited with the introduction of the system into 
Greece about 594 B.C. But the Julian calendar improved upon 
this mode of adjustment. 

< Gen. i. 16. 



' " Tertin ex utroque vastitasi sol is aperihir, ut non sit 
necesse amplitudinem ejus oculorutn argumentis, atque con- 
jectura ani>ri scrutari : immensum esse quia arhorum in 
limitihus porrectarum in quotlibet passuum millia umbras 
paribus jaciat intervallis,ta7iquam toto spatio meJius : ct quia 
per cequinoctium omnibus in meridiana p>laga habitaiitibus, 
simul fiat a vertice : ita quia circa solstitialem circulum habi- 
tantium meridie ad Septemtrionem umbra cada?it, ortu lero 
ad occasum. ^nce fieri nullo modo possent nisi multo quam 
terra major esset.''^ Plin, ii.8. 

TTOcrbv aTTOppeovToj et? top o/xoyevr) ae'pa, Toi) 6e an'o tov crwfiaTO^ 
(^epofxivov anoppeiu- rot' 6e ixera^b aepa evSLaxvTov ovra koL 
evrpenrov, crvueKTeivouTO'^ tu> TrupuiSet ttJ? oifjeio';, aiiTri, \eyfTat 
TrXaTuii'LKYi (Tvvavyein. Pint. Trepi Twr ape^-r. iv. 13. The Pla- 
tonic theory of nisjht is exjilained in the TimcFus, Chap. xix. 

3 Plato {Phced. § 133) makes the same comparis(m. "En 
Toivov, e(f)ri, TrdixfjLeyd re elvai avTO, Kai i^jixa? ot/cetc Toix; fxexpi 
'HpoLKkeiuiU cTTTjAoKi/ a TO 'i'daiSo? iu cfJUKpixt tlvI fjiopico, /o^Trep 
Trepi re'A/xa /aup^TjKa? rj ftiroixov; Treoi TJ71/ ^d\aTTav OLKOVVTa<;. 
Fialon names Seneca (^uast. Nat. i.'prjef. 505) and Lucian 
fHermotimus v. and Icaromenipnus xix.) as followinj^ him. 
To these may be a(ided Celsus " yarayeAwi/ to •' lovha-miv Kai 
Xpio-1 tavwi' y^vo<i " in Origen, C. Cels. iv. 517, B. 



88 



BASIL. 



you? How large did one of those barks of 
great tonnage, which unfurl their white sails 
to the blue sea, appear to you. Did it not 
look smaller than a dove? It is because 
sight, as I have just told you, loses itself in 
the air, becomes weak and cannot seize with 
exactness the object which it sees. And 
finther : your sight shows you high mountains 
intersected by valleys as rounded and smooth, 
because it reaches only to the salient parts, 
and is not able, on account of its weakness, 
to penetrate into the valleys which separate 
them. It does not even preserve the form of 
objects, and thinks that all square towers are 
round. Thus all proves that at a great dis- 
tance sight only presents to us obscure and 
confused objects. The luminary is then 
great, according to the witness of Scripture, 
and infinitely greater than it appears. 

lo. See again another evident proof of its 
greatness. Although the heaven may be full 
of stars without number, the light contributed 
by them all could not disperse the gloom 
of night. The sun alone, from the time that 
it appeared on the horizon, while it was still 
expected and had not yet risen completely 
above the earth, dispersed the darkness, out- 
shone the stars, dissolved and diffused the air, 
which was hitherto thick and condensed over 
our heads, and produced thus the morning 
breeze and the dew which in fine weather 
streams over the earth. Could the earth with 
such a wide extent be lighted up entirely in 
one moment if an immense disc were not 
pouring forth its light over it? Recognise 
here the wisdom of the Artificer. See how 
He made the heat of the sun proportionate to 
this distance. Its heat is so regulated that it 
neither consumes the earth by excess, nor 
lets it grow cold and sterile by defect. 

To all this the properties of the moon are 
near akin; she, too, has an immense body, 
whose splendour only yields to that of the sun. 
Our eyes, however, do not always see her in 
her full size. Now she presents a perfectlv 
rounded disc, now when diminished and 
lessened she shows a deficiency on one side. 
When waxing she is shadowed on one side, 
and when she is waning another side is 
hidden. Now it is not without a secret reason 
of the divine Maker of the universe, that the 
moon appears from time to time under such 
different forms. It presents a striking ex- 
ample of our nature. Nothing is stable in 
man ; here from nothingness he raises himself 
to perfection ; there after having hasted to put 
forth his strength to attain his full greatness 
he suddenly is subject to gradual deteriora- 
tion, and is destroyed by diminution. Thus, 
the sight of the moon, making us think of the | 



rapid vicissitudes of human things, ought to 
teach us not to pride ourselves on the good 
things of this life, and not to glory in our 
power, not to be carried away by uncertain 
riches, to despise our flesh which is subject 
to change, and to take care of the soul, tor its 
good is unmoved. If you cannot behold 
without sadness the moon losing its splendour 
by gradual and imperceptible decrease, how 
much more distressed should you be at the 
sight of a soul, who, after having possessed 
virtue, loses its beauty by neglect, and does 
not remain constant to its affections, but is 
agitated and constantly changes because its 
purposes are unstable. What vScripture says 
is very true, '' As for a fool he changeth as 
the moon." ^ 

I believe also that the variations of the 
moon do not take place without exerting 
great influence upon the organization of ani- 
mals and of all livino^ thin<js. This is because 
bodies are differently disposed at its waxing 
and waning. When she wanes they lose 
their density and become void. When she 
waxes and is approaching her fulness they 
appear to fill themselves at the same time 
with her, thanks to an imperceptible moisture 
that she emits mixed with heat, which pene- 
trates everywhere.^ For proof, see how those 
who sleep under the moon feel abundant 
moisture filling their heads ; ^ see how fresh 
meat is quickly turned under the action of 
the moon ; ^ see the braiti of animals, the 
moistest part of marine animals, the pith of 
trees. Evidently the moon must be, as 
Scripture says, of enormous size and power 
to make all nature thus participate in her 
changes. 

1 1 . On its variations depends also the con- 
dition of the air, as is proved by sudden dis- 

1 Ecclus. xxvii. ii. 

2 cf. Alcman (ap. Plut., Syvipox. iii, in), who calls the dew 
Alb? OvyoLT-qp kol leKdv^^', antl Plutarch himself/;/ /oc. \'irg'., 
Georg. iii. 337, " Roscida Litiia,^' and Statius, Tlieb. i. 336: 

" lamqne per emeriti siirgen^ confiuia Phcebi 
Titanis, late munJo subvecta silenti 
Rorifera gelidiim teiiicaverat aera biga^ 

" The baleful influence of *'■ iractindn Diana'''' fHor., De 
Art. Poet. 454) is an early belief, not yet extinct, cf. the term 
o-eArji'tacr/uos for epilepsy, and " lutiaticus^' for the '"moon- 
struck" madman. Vide Ca«s., ^uo'st. Med. xxv. i. Perowtie 
on Ps. cxxi. 6 notes, «' De Wette refers to Andersen's Eastern 
Travels in proof that this opinion is commonly entertained. 
Delitzsch mentions having' heard from Texas that the conse- 
quence of sieepiniif in the open air, wlien the moon was shin- 
ing-, was mental aberration, dizziness, and even death." 

" Dass aiich der Mond in heller Nacht dent oluie gehjrigen 
Schiitz Schlafenden schadenkonne ist allgemeiiie Meiincng dcs 
Orients tind der kohlen Nachte wegen leicht moglirh. Vgl. 
Came *Leben und Sitten im Morgenl.'' " Ewald, Dichter des 
A.B. u 266. 

* A fact, however explained. Plutarch {Synipos. Prnh. iii. 
10) discusses the question At,a rt rd K^ia. o-rjn-eTai ^xaAAo;/ vtt ) 
Ty\v ae\rii'r)v 17 rov rjAtoi', and refers the decomposition to the 
moi'^tening' influence of the moon. "Air, moisture, and a 
certain degree of warmth, are necessary to the decay of ani- 
mal bodies . . . "where moisture continues present — even thouirli 
warmth and air be in a great measure excluded — decay still 
slowly takes place." J. F.W.Johnston, Chemistry of Com- 
mon Life, ii. 273. 



THE HEXAEMERON. 



89 



turbances which often come after the new 
moon, in the midst of a cahn and of a stiUness 
in the winds, to agitate the clouds and to hurl 
them against each other ; as the flux and re- 
flux in straits, and the ebb and flow of the 
ocean prove, so that those who live on its 
shores see it regularly following the revolu- 
tions of the moon. The waters of straits 
approach and retreat from one shore to the 
other dLM'ing the different phases of the 
moon ; but, when she is new, they have not 
an instant of rest, and move in perpetual 
swaying to and fro, until the moon, reap- 
pearing, regulates their reflux. As to tlie 
Western sea,^ we see it in its ebb and flow 
now return into its bed, and now overflow, 
as the moon draws it back by her respiration 
and then, by her expiration, urges it to- its 
own boundaries.^ 

I have entered into these details, to show 
you the grandeur of the luminaries, and to 
make you see that, in the inspired words, 
there is not one idle syllable. And yet my 
sermon has scarcely touched on any im- 
portant point ; there are many other discov- 
eries about the size and distance of the sun 
and moon to which any one who will make 
a serious study of their action and of their 
characteristics may arrive by the aid of reason. 
Let me then ingenuously make an avowal of 
mv weakness, for fear that you should meas- 
lU'e the mighty works of the Creator by my 
words. The little that I have said ought the 
rather to make you conjecture the marvels on 
which I have omitted to dwell. We must 
not then measure the moon with the eye, but 
with the reason. Reason, for the discovery 
of truth, is much surer than the eye. 

Everywhere ridiculous old women's tales, 
imagined in the delirium of drunkenness, 
have been circulated ; such as that enchant- 
ments can remove the moon from its place 
and make it descend to the earth. How 
could a magician's charm shake that of which 
the Most High has laid the foundations? 
And if once torn out what place could hold 
it?^ 

Do you wish from slight indications to have 
a proof of the moon's size? All the towns in 
t!ie world, however distant from each other, 

1 1 .". tha Atlantic, cf. Ovid., Met. xi. 25S, " Ilesperium 
f return.'''' 

^ Pythejis, of Marseilles, is first named as attributing- the 
tides to the moon. Plut. Trept apeaK, k.t.A. iii. 17. On the 
ancient belief j.'enerally v/de Plin. ii. 99. 

3 '• Ini^eitta jam pridem ratio est prcenuntians horas, non 
viodo dies ac nodes, Solis Lnnceque defeetuum. Diirat 
tamen tradita persuasio in magna parte Tiilgi, venejiciis (t 
lierbis id cogi, earn que 7inm /(Stninarum scienttatn preevalere." 
Plin. XXV. V. So it was a custom to avert the spells of sor- 
ceresses, which might bring- the eclipsed moon to the ground, 
by beating brass and shouting, c/". Juv.. Sat. vi. 443, 
" Ta7}t nemo tubas, nemo cera fatigat, 
Una lahoranti poterit sticcurrere lunee,*' 
and the " cera auxiliaria lunce " of Ov., Met. iv. 333. 



equally receive the light from the moon in 
those streets that are turned towards its rising 
If she did not look on all face to face, those 
only would be entirely lighted up which 
were exactly opposite ; as to those beyond 
the extremities of her disc, they would only 
receive diverted and oblique rays. It is this 
effect which the light of lamps produces in 
houses; if a lamp is surrounded by several 
persons, only the shadow of the person who 
IS directly opposite to it is cast in a straight 
line, the others follow inclined lines on each 
side. In the same way, if the body of the 
moon were not of an immense and prodig- 
ious size she could not extend herself alike to 
all. In reality, when the moon rises in the 
equinoctial regions, all equally enjoy her 
light, both those who inhabit the icy zone, 
under the revolutions of the Bear, and those 
who dwell in the extreme south in the neigh- 
bourhood of the torrid zone. She gives us 
an idea of her size by appearing to be face to 
face with all people. Who then can deny 
the immensity of a body which divides itself 
equally over such a wide extent? 

But enough on the greatness of the sun 
and moon. May He who has given iis intel- 
ligence to recognise in the smallest objects of 
creation the great wisdom of the Contriver 
make us find in great bodies a still higher 
idea of their Creator. However, compared 
with their Author, the sun and moon are 
but a fly and an ant. The whole universe 
cannot give us a right idea of the greatness 
of God ; and it is only by signs, weak and 
slight in themselves, often by the help of the 
smallest insects and of the least plants, that 
we raise ourselves to Him. Content with 
these words let tis offer our thanks, I to Him 
who has given me the ministry of the Word, 
you to Him who feeds you with spiritual 
food ; Who, even at this moment, makes you 
find in my weak voice the strength of barlev 
bread. Ma}' He feed you for ever, and in 
proportion to your faith grant you the mani- 
festation of the Spirit ^ in Jesus Christ our 
Lord, to whom be glory and power for ever 
and ever. Amen. 

HOMILY VII. 

The creation of moving creatures.^ 

I . " And God said., Let the 'waters hr272g 
forth abuitdantly the moving creature that 
hath life'' after their kind, '' a7id fozvl -that 
may fly above the earth " after their kind.'^ 
After the creation of the luminaries the 
waters are now filled with living beings and 



"^ cf. \ Cor. xii. 7, 

2 JLXX. creeping things. 



3 Gen. i. 20. 



90 



BASIL. 



its own adornment is given to this part of 
the world. Earth had received hers from 
her own plants, the heavens had received 
the flowers of the stars, and, like two eyes, 
the great luminaries beautilied them in con- 
cert. Jt still remained for the waters to re- 
ceive their adornment. The command was 
given, and immediately the rivers and lakes 
becoming fruitful brought forth their natural 
broods ; the sea travailed with all kinds of 
swimming creatures ; not even in mud and 
marshes did the water remain idle ; it took 
its part in creation. Everywhere from its 
ebullition frogs, gnats and flies came forth. 
For that which we see to-day is the sign 
of the past. Thus everywhere the water 
hastened to obev the Creator's command. 
Who could count the species which the great 
and ineffable power of God caused to be 
suddenly seen living and moving, vyhen this 
command had empowered the waters to 
brinof forth life? Let the waters brino; forth 
movinof creatures that have life. Then for 
the first time is made a being with life and 
feeling. For though plants and trees be said 
to live, seeing that they share the power of 
being nourished and growing ; nevertheless 
they are neither living beings, nor have they 
life.' To creatj these last God said, '' Let 
the water produce moving creatures." 

Every creature that swims, whether it 
skims on the surface of the waters, or cleaves 
the depths, is of the nature of a moving 
creature,^ since it drags itself on the body of 
the water. Certain aquatic animals have 
feet and walk ; especially amphibia, such as 
seals, crabs, crocodiles, river horses^ and 
frogs ; but they are above all gifted with the 
power of swimming. Thus it is said. Let 
the waters produce moving creatures. In 
these few words what species is omitted? 
Which is not included in the command of 
the Creator? Do we not see viviparous ani- 
mals, seals, dolphins, rays and all cartilagi- 
nous animals? Do we not see oviparous 
animals comprising every sort of fish, those 
which have a skin and those which have 
scales, those which have fins and those which 
have not? This command has only required 
one word, even less than a word, a sign, a 
motion of the divine will, and it has such a 
wide sense that it includes all the varieties 
and all the families offish. To review them 
all would be to undertake to count the waves 
of the ocean or to measure its waters in the 
hollow of the hand. " Let the waters pro- 



* Plants are neither ^wa nor €ju.i|/vxa. 

2 LXX. creeping. 

3 Basil uses the classical Greek form oi TroTajxioi 'imroL, as in 
Herod, and Arist. The dog-Greek hippopotamus, properly a 
horse-river, is first found in Galen. 



duce moving creatures." That is to say, 
those which people the high seas and those 
which love the shores ; those which inhabit 
the depths and those which attach themselves 
to rocks ; those which are gregarious and 
those which live dispersed, the cetaceous, 
the huge, and the tiny. It is from the same 
power, the same command, that all, small and 
great receive their existence. '' Let the 
waters bring forth." These words show yo>i 
the natural affinity of animals which swim 
in the water; thus, fish, when drawn out of 
the water, quickly die, because they have no 
respiration such as could attract our air and 
water is their element, as air is that of terres- 
trial animals. The reason for it is clear. With 
us the lung, that porous and spongy portion of 
the inward parts which receives air by the 
dilatation of the chest, disperses and cools 
interior warmth ; in fish the motion of the 
gills, which open and shut by turns to take in 
and to eject the water, takes the place of 
respiration.' Fish have a peculiar lot, a 
special nature, a nourishment of their own, 
a life apart. Thus they cannot be tamed 
and cannot bear the touch of a man's hand.^ 
2. " Let the waters bring forth moving 
creatures after their kind." God caused to 
be born the firstlings of each species to 
serve as seeds for nature. Their multitudi- 
nous numbers are kept up in subsequent suc- 
cession, when it is necessary for them to 
grow and multiply. Of another kind is the 
species of testacea, as muscles, scallops, sea 
snails, conches, and the infinite variety of 
oysters. Another kind is that of the crus*^a= 
cea, as crabs and lobsters; another of fish 
without shells, with soft and tender flesh, like 
polypi and cuttle fish. And amidst these 
last what an innumerable variety ! There 
are weevers, lampreys and eels, produced in 
the mud of rivers and ponds, which more 
resemble venomous reptiles than fish in their 
nature. Of another kind is the species of 
the ovipara ; of another, that of the vivipara. 
Among the latter are sword-fish, cod, in one 
word, all cartilaginous fish, and even the 
greater part of the cetacea, as dolphins, seals, 
which, it is said, if they see their little ones, 

1 cf. Arist., De Part. Anim. iii.6. fiioTreprwi'/aei' ixt^Liwi/ovSel? 
e\ei TTVf.v^i.ova. dAA' ai'Ti tovtov /3pa-y;^ia Kad^dnep eipr]Tai er rots Trept 
avanvori^ ' vSaTt yap Troteirat rrfu Karanl/v^LV, Tcl 6' avanviovTa 
€\ei iTvevnova avanueL 8e toL ne^Oi no-vra. 

2 Here Basil is curiously in contradiction to ancient as well 
as modern experience. Martial's epigram on Domitian's tame 
fish, ^'^ qui noriint dommum, manumque lambiDit illam qua 
nihil est in orbe maj'us" (iv. 30), is illustrated l)y the same 
author's '■'■ natat ad magistnim delicata mur^iia'''' (x. 30), as 
well as by ^lian {De animal, vili.4). '■'■ Apiid Banlos in parte 
Baiana piscinam hahuit Hortensius orator, in qua niiimnam 
adeo dilexit tit exanimatam Jlesse credatur: in eadem villa 
Antonia Drusi murcence quam diligebat inaures addidii." 
Plin. ix. yi. So Lucian ovtoi fie (ip^r^wt?) Ka\ bi'Ofj.a.Ta exovo-i (cal 
epxouraL (caAou/aei^oi. (De Syr. Dea. ^^.) John Evelyn {Diary 
1644) writes of Fontainebleau : "The carps come familiarly to 
hand." There was recently a tame carp at Azay le Rideau. 



THE HEXAEMERON. 



91 



still quite young, frightened, take them back 
into their belly to protect them.^ 

Let the waters bring forth after their 
kind. The species of the cetacean is one ; 
another is that of small fish. What infinite 
variety in the clifierent kinds ! All have 
their own names, diflerent food, different 
form, shape, and quality of flesh. All pre- 
sent infinite variety, and are divided into in- 
numerable classes. Is there a tunny fisher 
who can enumerate to us the difibrent varie- 
ties of that fish ? And yet they tell us that 
at the sight of great swarms of fish they 
can almost tell the number of the incHvidual 
ones v^hich compose it. What man is there 
of all that have spent their long lives by 
coasts and shores, who can inform us with 
exactness of the history of all fish.^ 

Some are known to the fishermen of the 
Indian ocean, others to the toilers of the 
Egyptian gulf, otliers to the islanders, others 
to the men of Mauretania.^ Great and small 
were all alike created by this first command, 
by this ineffable power. What a diflference 
in their food! What a variety in the man- 
ner in which each species reproduces itself! 
Most fish do not hatch eggs like birds ; they 
do not build nests ; they do not feed their 
young with toil ; it is the water which re- 
ceives and vivifies the &^^ dropped into it. 
With them the reproduction of each species 
is invariable, and natures are not mixed. 
There are none of those unions which, on 
the earth, produce mules and certain birds 
contrary to the nature of their species. With 
fish there is no variety which, like the ox 
and the sheep, is armed with a half-equip- 
ment of teeth, none which ruminates except, 
according to certain writers, the scar.^ All 
have serried and very sharp teeth, for fear 
their food should escape them if they masti- 
cate it for too long a time. In fact, if it 
were not crushed and swallowed as soon as 
divided, it would be carried away by the 
water. 

3. The food of fish differs according to 
their species. Some feed on mud; others 
eat sea weed ; others content themselves 
with the herbs that grow in water. But the 
greater part devour each other, and the 
smaller is food for the larger, and if one 
which has possessed itself of a fish weaker 
than itself becomes a pre}" to another, the 
concjueror and the conquered are both swal- 
lowed up in the belly of the last. And we 
mortals, do we act otherwise when we op- 



1 Narrated by ^lian {Anim. i. 16) of the •• glaucus," a fish 
apparently unknown. 

2 Mavpouo-ioi. cf. Strabo, ii. 33. 

3 e.g. Arist., De Anim. viii. 2 and .^lian, ii. 54. 



press our inferiors?^ What difference is 
there between the last fish and the man 
who, impelled by devouring greed, swallows 
the weak in the folds of his insatiable ava- 
rice? Yon fellow possessed the goods of the 
poor; you caught him and made him a part 
of your abundance. You have shown your- 
self more unjust than the unjust, and more 
miserly than the miser. Look to it lest you 
end like the fish, by hook, by weel, or by 
net. Surely we too, when we have done 
the deeds of the wicked, shall not escape pun- 
ishment at the last. 

Now see what tricks, what cunning, are to 
be found in a weak animal, and learn not 
to imitate wicked doers. The crab loves 
the flesh of the oyster ; but, sheltered by its 
shell, a solid rampart with which nature has 
furnished its soft and delicate flesh, it is a 
difficult prey to seize. Thus they call the 
oyster *' sherd-hide." ^ Thanks to the two 
shells with which it is enveloped, and which 
adapt themselves perfectly the one to the 
other, the claws of the crab are quite pow- 
erless. What does he do } When he sees 
it, sheltered from the wind, warming itself 
with pleasure, and half opening its shells to 
the sun,^ he secretly throws in a pebble, pre- 
vents them from closing, and takes by cun- 
ning what force had lost."* Such is the mal- 
ice of these animals, deprived as they are of 
reason and of speech. But I would that you 
should at once rival the crab in cunning and 
industry, and abstain from harming your 
neighbour; this animal is the Image of him 
who craftily approaches his brother, takes 
advantage of his neighbour's misfortunes, 
and finds his delight in other men's troubles. 
O copy not the damned! Content yourself 
with your own lot. Poverty, with what Is 
necessary, Is of more value in the e3'es of the 
wise than all pleasures. 

I will not pass In silence the cunning and 
trickery of the squid, which takes the colour 
of the rock to which it attaches itself. Most 
fish swim idly up to the squid as they might 
to a rock, and become themselves the prey 
of the crafty creature.^ Such are men who 



'^ cf. Pericles ii. i. 

3 Fish. Master, I marvel how the fishes live in the sea. 
/ Fish. Why, as men do a- land ; the great ones eat up the 
little ones. 2 6crToa«66epwo?. 

3 Fialon quotes La Fontaine Le Rat et VHuitre : 
Farmi tant d^hiiitres toutes closes, 
Une s^ctiiit ouvei'te, et haillant au soleil. 
Far tin doiix Zephyr rejouie, 
Humait Pair, respirait, ctait cpanotiie, 
Blanche, grassCf et d^un gout, a la voir, sans pareil. 
* Pliny ix. 4S, says of the octopus : " imposito lapillo extra 
corpus nepalpitatu ejiciatur : ita securigrassantury extrahunt' 
que carnes.*^ 

5 cf. Theog. 21C : ^ * 

■novKvnov opyrfv itrye iroKvirkoicov , 05 noTt TreVpfl 
Tr} TrpocrojuiiAi^crei. Toto? ISelv eclxivrj. 
"Nvf fjieu Tjr/« i(}>fnnv, nore 5'dAAqio? XP*** J^y^O'^t 
Kpamvov Tot <TO<^i.y\ yiyvira*. evrponij]^, ( 



92 



BASIL. 



court ruling powers, bending themselves to 
all circumstances and not remaining for a 
moment in the same purpose; who praise 
self-restraint in the company of the self-re- 
strained, and license in that of the licentious, 
accommodating their feelings to the pleasure 
of each. It is difficult to escape them and 
to put ourselves on guard against their mis- 
chief; because it is under the mask of 
friendship that they hide tlieir clever wicked- 
ness. Men like this are ravening wolves 
covered with sheep's clothing, as the Lord 
calls them.' Flee then fickleness and plia- 
bility; seek truth, sincerity, simplicity. The 
serpent is shifty ; so he has been condemned 
to crawl. The just is an honest man, like Job.^ 
Wherefore God setteth the solitary in fami- 
lies.^ So is this great and wide sea, wherein 
are things creeping innumerable, both small 
and great beasts.* Yet a wise and marvellous 
order reigns among these animals. Fish do 
not always deserve our reproaches ; often they 
offer us useful examples. How is It that each 
sort of fish, content with the region that has 
been assigned to it, never travels over its 
own limits to pass into foreign seas.'* No 
surveyor has ever distributed to them their 
habitations, nor enclosed them in walls, nor 
assigned limits to them ; each kind has been 
naturally assigned its own home. One gulf 
nourishes one kind of fish, another other 
sorts ; those which swarm here are absent 
elsewhere. No mountain raises its sharp 
peaks between them ; no rivers bar the pas- 
sage to them ; it is a law of nature, which 
according to the needs of each kind, has 
allotted to them their dwelling places with 
equality and justice.^ 

4. It is not thus with us. Why? Be- 



Gveg. Naz.jO;'. xxxvi. : TroAAa? ixeTaXafx^avajv xpoas wa-irep Td 
TOiu ireTpixiV el noKvnoSe'; at? av ojohAtjo-cocti, and A.rist., Ut'st. An. 
ix. 37 : teal t?T]pev'ei tov<; ix^v? to xP^M«- H-^ra^dWwv Kal noLOii' 
bfjioioi' ot? 617 TrArjo-ia^r} Ai'i^ots. 

1 cf. Matt, vii, 15.' 

2 So the Cod. Colb. and Eustathius, who renders Justus 
nihil hahet fictum siciit Job. The Tien. Ed. suspect that Basil 
wrote Jacob and Job. P'our MSS. support Jacob alone, who, 
whatever maybe the meaninsr of the Hebrew in Gen. xxv. 27, is 
certainly aTrAaTro? only in the LXX., and a bad instance of 
guilelessness. 

.3 Ps, Ixviii. 6. * Ps. civ. 25. 

5 cf. Cudworth, hit. Syst. iii. 37, 23 : •' Besides this plastick 
Nature which is in animals, forming*- their several bodies arti- 
ficially, as so many microcosms or little worlds, there must also 
be a ireneral plastick Nature in the macrocosm, the whole cor- 
poreal universe, that wliich makes all things thus to conspire 
everywhere, and agree together into one harmony. Concern- 
ing which plastick nature of the universe, the Author De 
Mundo writes after this manner, /cal rot- oAoi' koo-ju.oi', 6te/c6o-- 
/u-rjTe /uLi'a rj Std ndi'Twi' SiriKovcra Svvaixi<;, one power, passing 
through all things, ordered and formed the whole world. 
Again he calls the same nvevaa koI eix\Jjvxov koI yofLixou oixriav, 
a spirit, and a living and Generative Nature, and plainly de- 
clares it to be a thing distinct from the Deity, but subordinate 
to it and dependent on it. Hut Aristotle himself, in that 
genuine work of his before mentioned, speaks clearly and 
positively concerning this Plastick Nature of the Universe, as 
well as that of animals, in these words: ' It seemeth that as 
there is Art in Artificial things, so in the things of Nature, 
there is another such like Principle or Cause, w^hich v/e our- 
selves pai'take of; in the same manner as we do of Heat and 
Cold, from the Universe. Wherefore it is more probable that 



cause we incessantly move the ancient land- 
marks w^hich our fathers have set.^ We 
encroach, we add house to house, field to 
field, to enrich ourselves at the expense of 
our neighbour. The great fish know the 
sojourning place that nature has assigned 
to them ; they occupy the sea far from the 
haunts of men, where no islands lie, and 
where are no continents rising to confront 
them, because it has never been crossed and 
neither curiosity nor need has persuaded 
sailors to tempt it. The monsters that 
dwell in this sea are in size like high moun- 
tains, so witnesses who have seen tell us, and 
never cross their boundaries to ravage islands 
and seaboard towns. Thus each kind is as 
if it were stationed in towns, in villages, in 
an ancient country, and has for Its dwelling 
place the regions of the sea which have been 
assigned to it. 

Instances have, however, been known of 
migratory fish, who, as if common delibera- 
tion transported them into strange regions, all 
start on their march at a given sign. Wh^n 
the time marked forbreeding arrives, they, as 
if awakened by a common law of nature, 
migrate from gulf to gulf, directing their 
course toward tlie North Sea. And at the 
epoch of their return you may see all these 
fish streaming like a torrent across the Pro- 
pontis towards the Euxine Sea. Who puts 
them in marching array.? Where Is the 
prince's order .'^ Has an edict affixed in the 
public place indicated to them their day of 
departure.'^ Who serves them as a guide.'' 
See how the divine order embraces all and 
extends to the smallest object. A fish does 
not resist God's law, and we men cannot 
endure His precepts of salvation ! Do not 
despise fish because they are dumb and quite 
unreasoning; rather fear lest, in your resist- 
ance to the disposition of the Creator, you 
have even less reason than they. Listen to 
the fish, who bv their actions all but speak 
and say : it is for the perpetuation of our 
race that we undertake this long voyage. 

the whole world was at first made by such a cause as this (if at 
least it were made) and that it is still conserved by the same, 
than that mortal animals should be so: for there is much more 
of order and determinate Regularitv in the Heavenly Bodies 
tlian in ourselves; but more of Fortuitousness and inconstant 
Regularity among these mortal things. Notwithstanding 
which, some there are, wlio, though they cannot but acknowl- 
edge that the Bodies of Animals were all framed by an Arti- 
ficial Nature, yet they will need contend that the System of the 
Heavens sprung merely from Fortune and Chance; although 
there be not the least appearance of Fortuitousness or Temer- 
ity in it.' And then he sums up all into this conclusion : too-re 
eti'ai 4>av€phu on ecrri Tt TOtoOrof b fir| Kai KaXovt^ef (jyvcriv. 
' Wherefore it is manifest that there is some such thing as 
that which we call Nature,' that is, that there is not only an 
'Artificial,' 'Methodical,' and Plastick Nature in Animals, 
by which their respective Bodies are Framed and Conserved, 
but also that there is such a General Plastick Nature likewise 
in the Universe, by which the Heavens and whole World are 
thus Artificially Ordered and Disposed." 
* cf. Prov. xxii. 28. 



THE HEXAEMERON. 



93 



They have not the gift of reason, but they 
have the law of nature firmly seated within 
them, to show them what they have to do. 
Let us go, they say, to the North Sea. Its 
water is sweeter than that of the rest of the 
sea; for the sun does not remain long there, 
and its rays do not draw up ail the drinkable 
portions.^ Even sea creatures love fresh 
water.^ Thus one often sees them enter 
Into rivers and swim far up them from the 
sea. This is the reason which makes them 
prefer the Euxine Sea to other gulfs, as the 
most fit for breeding and for bringing up 
their young. When they have obtained 
their object the whole tribe returns home. 
Let us hear these dumb creatures tell us the 
reason. The Northern sea, they say, is 
shallow and its surface is exposed to the 
violence of the wind, and it has few shores 
and retreats. Thus the winds easily agitate 
it to its bottom and mingle the sands of its 
bed with its waves. Besides, it is cold in 
winter, filled as it is from all directions by 
large rivers. ' Wherefore after a moderate 
enjoyment of its waters, during the summer, 
when the winter comes they hasten to reach 
warmer depths and places heated by the sun, 
and after fleeing from the stormy tracts of 
the North, they seek a haven in less agitated 
seas. 

^. I mvself have seen these marvels, and 
I have admired the wisdom of God in all 
things. If beings deprived of reason are 
capable of thinking and of providing for 
their own preservation ; if a fish knows what 
it ought to seek and what to shun, what 
shall we say, who are honoured with reason, 
instructed by law, encouraged by the promi- 
ses, made wise by the Spirit, and are neverthe- 
less less reasonable about our own affairs 
than the fish ? They know how to provide 
for the future, but w^e renounce our hope of 
the future and spend our life in brutal indul- 
gence. A fish traverses the extent of the sea 
to find what is good for it; what will you say 
then — • you who live in idleness, the mother of 
all vices? ^ Do not let any one make his igno- 
rance an excuse. There has been implanted 
in us natural reason which tells us to iden- 
tify ourselves with good, and to avoid all that 
is harmful. I need not go far from the sea 
to find examples, as that is the object of our 
researches. I have heard it said by one 
living near the sea, that the sea urchin, a 
little contemptible creature, often foretells 
calm and tempest to sailors. When it fore- 
sees a disturbance of the winds, it gets under 

1 cf. Arist., Hist. Animal, viii. 12 atid 13, and note on p. 70. 

2 cf. Arist. and Theophrastus. 

s Otiosa mater est nttgarum noverca omniinn vtrtutum. St. 
Bernard. 



a great pebble, and clinging to it as to an an- 
chor, it tosses about in safety, retained by the 
weight which prevents it from becoming the 
plaything of the waves. ^ It is a certain sign 
for sailors that they are threatened v/ith a 
violent a^^itation of the winds. No astrolo- 
ger, no ChaldiEan, reading in the rising of 
the stars the disturbances of the air, has ever 
communicated his secret to the urchin : it is 
the Lord of the sea and of the winds who 
has impressed on this little animal a manifest 
proof of His great wisdom. God has fore- 
seen all. He has neglected nothing. His eye, 
which never sleeps, watches over all.^ He is 
present everywhere and gives to each being 
the means of preservation. If God has not 
left the sea urchin outside His providence, 
is He without care for you.^* 

'' Husbands love your wives. ^^^ Although 
formed of two bodies you are united to live in 
the communion of wedlock. May this natural 
link, may this yoke imposed by the blessing, 
reunite those who are divided. The viper, the 
crudest of reptiles, unites itself with the sea 
lamprey, and, announcing its presence by a 
hiss, it calls it from the depths to conju- 
gal union. The lamprey obeys, and is 
united to this venomous animal.^ What 
does this mean.^ However hard, however 
fierce a husband may be, the wife ought to 
bear with him, and not wish to find any pre- 
text for breaking the union. He strikes you, 
but he is your husband. He is a drunkard, 
but he is united to you by nature. He is 
brutal and cross, but he is henceforth one of 
your members, and the most precious of all. 

6. Let husbands listen as well : here is a 
lesson for them. The viper vomits forth its 
venom in respect for marriage; and you, 
will you not put aside the barbarity and the 
inhumanity of your soul, out of respect for 
your union? Perhaps the example of the 
viper contains another meaning. The union 
of the viper and of the lamprey is an adul- 
terous violation of nature. You, who are 
plotting against other men's wedlock, learn 
what creeping creature you are like. I have 
only one object, to make all I say turn to the 
edification of the Church. Let then liber- 



"^^^ Tradufit SiBvitia'n maris pr(Esagire eos, cnrreptisque 
opperiri /apillis, mobilitatem pondere stahilientes : ito/iint 
volutaiione spinas atterere, quod tihi videre jiautici, statim 
plnribus ancoris navigia infrcenant.''^ Plin. ix. 5. cf. Plut., 
De Solert. An. 979, Oppian, Halietit. ii. 225, and ^lian, Hist. 
An. vii. 3V 

2 cf. Prov, XV. 3 : " The eyes of the Lord are in every place," 
and Ps. cxxi. 3. So Hesiod, -rtavra. \hl>iv Atb? 6</)»?aA/ix6s tal Tto-vra. 
t^orjo-'Kr. Hes. Works and Days, 265. 

3 Eph. V.25. 

4 The fable is in ^Han, Hist. An. ix. 66, and is contradicted 
by Athenasus, who says (vii. p. 312) : 'Ai'Spe'a? 6e tV tJ} Trepi 
TO)!/ (|/eu6(x)? ■ni.-nk.<yTi.v\xi.viav v//t"u66s ^r\<jiv eivai to Mvpaii-av ex'*- 
jU.tyj/uo'iS-at ■n(iO(Jf.p\o\xivr\v eVi to Tei/aywSe?, ouSe -yap errl Tei'ayov? 
e;(ets j't'jU.etrtJat, </)iAT76oOi'Ta? Ai/xuiSecrti' eprjixiaii;. '2,u>c7TpaT0<; 6i 
eV TOts Trepl Zjjwi' cuyKaTaTii^eTai tj) jui^ei. 



94 



BASIL. 



tines put a restraint on their passions, for they 
are taught by the examples set by creatures 
of earth and sea. 

My bodily infirmity and the lateness of 
the hour force me to end my discourse. 
However, I have still many observations to 
make on the products of the sea, for the ad- 
miration of my attentive audience. To 
speak of the sea itself, how does its water 
change into salt? How is it that coral, a 
stone so much esteemed, is a plant in the 
midst of the sea, and when once exposed to 
the air becomes hard as a rock ? Why has 
nature enclosed in the meanest of animals, in 
an oyster, so precious an object as a pearl? 
For these pearls, which are coveted by the 
caskets of kings, are cast upon the shores, 
upon the coasts, upon sharp rocks, and en- 
closed in oyster shells. How can the sea pinna 
produce her fleece of gold, which no dye has 
ever imitated?* How can shells give kings 
purple of a brilliancy not surpassed by the 
flowers of the field ? 

^'' Let the waters h^ing- forth,'' What 
necessary object was there that did not im- 
mediately appear? What object of luxury 
was not given to man? Some to supply 
his needs, some to make him contem- 
plate the marvels of creation. Some 
are terrible, so as to take our idleness to 
school. " God created great whales." ^ 
Scripture gives them the name of ''great" 
not because they are greater than a shrimp 
and a sprat, but because the size of their 
bodies equals that of great hills. Thus 
when they swim on the surface of the 
waters one often sees them appear like 
islands. But these monstrous creatures do 
not frequent our coasts and shores ; they in- 
habit the Atlantic ocean. Such are these 
animals created to strike us with terror and 
awe. If now you hear say that the greatest 
vessels, sailing with full sails, are easily 
stopped by a very small fish, by the rem- 
ora, and so forcibly that the ship remains 
motionless for a long time, as if it had taken 
root in the middle of the sea,^ do you not 
see in this little creature a like proof of the 
power of the Creator? Sword fish, saw 

1 The Pinna is a bivalve with a silky beard, of which several 
species are found in the Mediterranean. The beard is called 
by n\odern naturalists byssus. The shell of the giant pinna is 
sometimes two feet long. 

2 Gen. i. 21. 

•■5 " Tavien omnia hcec, pariterque eodein impellentia imus 
ac parvus admodiun pisciculus, echeneis appellatus, in se 
tenet. Ruant venti licet, et sceviant procell(2, imperat fiirori, 
viresqiie tantas compescit, et cogit stare navigia : quod non 
%'incula utla,non afichorce pojidere irrevocahili jact(z . . . 
Fertur Actiaco marte tenuisse navim_ Anton i i J>roperantis cir- 
cumire et exhortare sues donee tritnsiret in aliam. . . . Tennit 
et nostra memoria Caii principis ab Astura Antium renavi- 
gantesy Plin. xxxii. i. The popular error was long lived. 
«' Life is a voyage, and, in our life's ways, 

Countries, courts, towns, are rocks or remoras.'" 

Donne, 2'o Sir Henry Wotton. 



fish, dog fish, whales, and sharks, are not 
therefore the only things to be dreaded ; we 
have to fear no less the spike of the stingray 
even after its death, ^ and the sea-hare,^ 
whose mortal blows are as rapid as they 
are inevitable. Thus the Creator wishes 
that all may keep you awake, so that full 
of hope in Him you may avoid the evils 
with which all these creatures threaten you. 
But let us come out of the depths of the 
sea and take refuge upon the shore. For 
the marvels of creation, coming one after 
the other in constant succession like the 
waves, have submei"^ed my discourse. How- 
ever, I should not be surprised if, after find- 
ing greater wonders upon the earth, my 
spirit seeks like Jonah's to flee to the 
sea. But it seems to me, that meeting with 
these innumerable inarvels has made me 
forget all measure, and experience the fate 
of those who naviorate the hio^h seas with- 
out a fixed point to inark their progress, 
and are often ignorant of the space which 
they have traversed. This is what has 
happened to me ; whilst my words glanced 
at creation, I have not been sensible of the 
multitude of beings of which I spoke to you. 
But although this honourable assembly is 
pleased by my speech, and the recital of 
the marvels of the Master is grateful to 
the ears of His servants, let me here bring the 
ship of my discourse to anchor, and await 
the day to deliver you the rest. Let lis, 
therefore, all arise, and, giving thanks for 
what has been said, let us ask for strength 
to hear the rest. Whilst taking your food 
may the conversation at your table turn 
upon what has occupied us this morning 
and this evening. Filled with these thoughts 
may you, even in sleep, enjoy the pleasure 
of the day, so that you may be permitted 
to say, "I sleep but my heart waketh," ^ 
meditating day and night upon the law 
of the Lord, to Whom be glory and power 
world without end. Amen. 

HOMILY VIII. 

The creation of fowl and water animals} 

I. And God said ''''Let the earth bring 
forth the living ci'eature after his kind^ 
cattle and creeping things^ and beast of the 
earth after his kind; and it was so J' ^ The 
command of God advanced step by step 
and earth thus received her adornment. 

1 Pliny (ix.72) says it is sometimes five inches long. JElian 
{Hist. Ati. i. 56) calls the wound incurable. 

2 Pliny (ix. 72) calls it tactu pestilens, and says (xxxii. 3) 
that no other fish eats it, e-xcept the mullet. 

3 Cant. V. 2. 

* Codex Colb. I has the title •' about creeping things and 
beasts." ^ Gen. i. 24. 



THE HEXAEMERON. 



95 



Yesterday it was said, " Let the waters 
produce moving things," and to-day '' let 
the earth bring forth the living creature." 
Is the earth then ahve? And are the 
mad-minded Manichseans right in giving 
it a soul? At these words '' Let the earth 
bring forth," it did not produce a germ 
contained in it, but He who gave the order 
at the same time gifted it with the grace and 
power to bring forth. When the earth had 
heard this command " Let the earth bring 
forth grass and the tree yielding fruit," it 
was not grass that it had hidden in it that it 
caused to spring forth, it did not bring to 
the surfoce a palm tree, an oak, a cypress, 
hitherto kept back in its depths. It is the 
word of God which forms the nature of things 
created. " Let the earth bring forth ; " that 
is to say not that she may bring forth that 
which she has but that she may acquire 
that which she lacks, when God gives her 
the power. Even so now, " Let the earth 
bring forth the living creature," not the 
living creature that is contained in herself, 
but that which the command of God gives 
her. Further, the Manichaeans contradict 
themselves, because if the earth has brought 
forth the life, she has left herself despoiled 
of life. Their execrable doctrine needs no 
demonstration. 

But why did the waters receive the com- 
mand to bring forth the moving creature that 
hath life and the earth to brins^ forth the 
living creature? We conclude that, by 
their nature, swimming creatures appear 
only to have an imperfect life, because they 
live in the thick element of water. They are 
hard of hearino-, and their sight is dull be- 
cause they see through the water ; they have 
no memory, no imagination, no idea of social 
intercourse. Thus divine language appears 
to indicate that, in aquatic animals, the car- 
nal life originates their psychic movements, 
whilst in terrestrial animals, gifted with a 
more perfect life,* the souP enjoys supreme 
authority. In fact the greater part of quad- 
rupeds have more power of penetration in 
their senses ; their apprehension of present ob- 
jects is keen, and they keep an exact remem- 
brance of the past. It seems therefore, that 
God, after the command given to the waters 
to bring forth moving creatures that have life, 
created simply living bodies for aquatic 
animals, wliilst for terrestrial animals He 
commanded the soul to exist and to direct 
the body, showing thus that the inhabitants 
of the earth are gifted with greater vital 
force. Without doubt terrestrial animals are 
devoid of reason. At the same time how 



i^n- 



^vxn. 



many affections of the soul each one of them 
expresses by the voice of nature! They ex- 
press by cries their joy and sadness, recogni- 
tion of what is familiar to them, the need of 
food, regret at being separated from their 
companions, and numberless emotions. 
Aquatic animals, on the contrary, are not 
only dumb; it is impossible to tame them, 
to teach them, to train them for man's soci- 
ety.* " The ox knoweth his owner, and the 
ass his master's crib." ^ But the fish does 
not know who feeds him. The ass knows a 
fiimiliar voice, he knows the road which he 
has often trodden, and even, if man loses his 
way, he sometimes serves him as a guide. 
His hearing is more acute than that of any 
other terrestrial animal. What animal of the 
sea can show so much rancour and resent- 
ment as the camel? The camel conceals its 
resentment for a long time after it has been 
struck, until it finds an opportunity, and then 
repays the wrong. Listen, you whose 
heart does not pardon, you who practise 
vengeance as a virtue ; see what you resem- 
ble when you keep your anger for so long 
against your neighbour like a spark, hidden in 
the ashes, and only waiting for fuel to set 
your heart ablaze ! 

2. ^^ Let the earth bring" forth a living 
souW^ Why did the earth produce a living 
soul? so that you may make a difference be- 
tween the soul of cattle and that of man. You 
\yi\\\ soon learn how the human soul was 
formed ; hear now about the soul of creatures 
devoid of reason. Since, according to Scrip- 
ture, "' the life of every creature is in the 
blood," ^ as the blood when thickened changes 
into flesh, and flesh when corrupted decom- 
poses into earth, so the soul of beasts isnatur- 
ally an earthy substance. "Let the earth 
bring forth a living soul." See the affinity of 
the soul with blood, of blood with flesh, of flesh 
with earth ; and remounting in an inverse 
sense from the earth to the flesh, from the 
flesh to the blood, from the blood to the soul, 
you will find that the soul of beasts is earth. 
Do not suppose that it is older than the 
essence ^ of their body, nor that it survives 
the dissolution of the flesh ; ^ avoid the non- 



1 See note on p. 90. ^ cf. Lev. xvii. 11. 

2 Isa. i, 3. ^ vTTooTacrt?. 

cit maybe supposed "that the souls of brutes, bein^ but 
so many eradiations or effluxes from tliat source of life above, 
are, as soon as ever those organized bodies of theirs, by reason 
of their indisposition, become uTicapable of being further acted 
upon by them, then to lie resumed again and retracted back to 
their original head and fountain. Since it cannot be doubted 
but wliat creates anything out of nothing, or sends it forth 
from itself, by free and voluntary emanation, may be able 
either to retract the same back again to its original source, or 
else to annihilate it at pleasure. And I find that there have 
not wanted some among the Gentile pliilosophers themselves 
who have entertained this opinion, wliereof Porphyry is one, 
Averat e/cao-Trj Sui'a^iS aAoyOi et? iriv 6\r}U ^wiqi/ TOU irdj'TOS.'* 
Cudworth, i. 35. 



96 



BASIL. 



sense of those arrogant philosophers who do 
not blush to liken their soul to that of a dog ; 
who say that they have been formerly them- 
selves women, shrubs, fish.' Have they 
ever been fish? I do not know; but I do 
not fear to afiirm that in their writings they 
show less sense than fish. "Let the earth 
bring forth the living creature." Perhaps 
many of you ask why there is such a long 
silence in the middle of the rapid rush of my 
discourse. The more studious among my 
auditors will not be ignorant of the reason 
why words fail me. What! Have I not seen 
them look at each other, and make signs to 
make me look at tliem, and to remind me of 
what I have passed over? I have forgotten 
a part of the creation, and that one of the 
most considerable, and mv discourse was 
almost finished without touching upon it. 
" Let the waters bring forth abundantly the 
moving creature that hath life and fowl 
that may fly above the earth in the open 
firmament of heaven." ^ I spoke of fish as 
long as eventide allowed : to-dav we have 
passed to the examination of terrestrial ani- 
mals ; between the two, birds have escaped 
us. We are forgetful like travellers who, 
unmindful of some important object, are 
obliged, although they be far on their road, 
to retrace their steps, punished for their neg- 
ligence by the weariness of the journey. So 
we have to turn back. That which we have 
omitted is not to be despised. It is the third 
part of the animal creation, if indeed there 
are three kinds of animals, land, winged and 
water. 

" Let the waters " it is said " bringforth 
abundantly moving creatine that hath life 
and fowl that may Jiy above the earlh in the 
open firmament of heaven,''^ Why do the 
waters give birth aLso to birds? Because 
there is, so to say, a family link between the 
creatures that fly and those that swim. In 
the same way that fish cut the waters, using 
their fins to carry them forward and their 
tails to direct their movements round and 
round and straightforward, so we see 
birds float in the air by the help of their 
wings. Both endowed with the property of 
swimming, their common derivation from 
the waters has made them of one family.^ 



1 Empedocles is named as author of the lines : 

r\hy] yUp ttot^ iyu) ■yei'oju.rjv Kovprjre /copo; re, 
0a/i,vo? t' otwi'o? re kol elv a\l e'AAoTro? i;;^i>J?. 
cf. DioT. Laert. viii. 78 and Plutarch, D Solert. Av. ii. 964. 
Whether the " faba Pythas^or^e coa^nnta " of Hor., Sat. ii. 6, 
63, iinp:ies the transmij^ration of the soul into it is doulitful. 
r/". Juv., Sat. XV. 153. An;i.ximander thonirlit tnat human beings 
were oriii^inally generated from fish. Plut., Syiup. viii. S. 

2 Gen. i. 20. 

3 Fialon quotes Bossuet, ist Elev. 5th week : " ^ni a donne 
aux oiseaux et aux foissons ces rames vaturelles^ qiit leiir font 
fendre les eanx et lea airs ? Ce qui pent itre a domie lieu a 
letir Createiir de les produire ensemble, comme animaiix d'un 



At the same time no bird is without feet, 
because finding all its food upon the 
earth it cannot do without their service. 
Rapacious birds have pointed claws to 
enable them to close on their prey ; to the 
rest has been given the indispensable ministry 
of feet to seek their food and to provide for 
the other needs of life. There are a few who 
walk badly, whose feet are neither suitable 
for walking nor for preying. Among this 
number are swallows, incapable of walkir.g 
and seeking their prey, and the birds calleil 
swifts ' who live on little insects carried about 
by the air. As to the swallow, its flight, which 
grazes the earth, fulfils the fimction of feet. 
3. There are also innumerable kinds of 
birds. If we review them all, as we have 
partly done the fish, we shall find that under 
one name, the creatures which fly differ infin- 
itely in size, form and colour ; that in their life, 
their actions^and their manners, they preser.t 
a variety equally beyond the power of de- 
scription. Thus some have tried to imagine 
names for them of which the singularity and 
the strangeness might, like brands, mark 
the distinctive character of each kind known. 
Some, as eagles, have been called Schizop- 
tera, others Dermoptera, as the bats, others 
Ptilota, as wasps, others Coleoptera, as 
beetles and all those insects which brought 
forth in cases and coverings, break their prison 
to fly away in liberty.^ But we have enough 
words of common usage to characterise each 
species and to mark the distinction which 
Scripture sets up between clean and unclean 
birds. Thus the species of carnivora is of 
one sort and of one constitution which suits 
their manner of living, sharp talons, curved 
beak, swift wings, allowing them to swoop 
easily upon their prey and to tear it up after 
having seized it.^ The constitution of those 
who pick up seeds is different, and again 
that of those who live on all they come across. 
What a variety in all these creatures ! S9me 
are gregarious, except the birds of prey 
who know no other society than con- 
jugal union ; but innumerable kinds, doves, 
cranes, starlings, jackdaws, like a common 
life.^ Among them some live without a 
chief and in a sort of independence; others, 
as cranes, do not refuse to submit themselves 
to a leader. And a fresh difference between 

dessin a feu pres sevihlahle : le vol des oiseaux semblavt, etre 
line espece de faculte de nager dans nne liqueur plus suhiile, 
comme la faculte de 7iai^er dans les poissons est tine espece de 
vol dans tnie liqueur plus cpaisse^ 

The theory of evolutionists is, as is well known, that birds 
developed out of reptiles and reptiles from fish. Vide^ E. 
Haeckel's monophyletic pedigree in his History of Creation. 

1 SoeTrat-i'?, i.e. sickle-bird. 

2 These are the terms of Aristotle, Hist. An.'i.s^. 
8 cf. Arist., Hist . An. viii. 3. 

* Whence the proverb /coAoios ttotI koXoiov. Arist., Eth. 
Nic. I. viii. 6. 



THE HEXAEMERON. 



97 



them is that some are stationary and non- 
migratory; others undertake long voyages 
and the greater part of them, migrate at the 
approach of winter. Nearly all birds can be 
tamed and are capable of training, except 
the weakest, who through fear and timidity 
cannot bear the constant and annoying con- 
tact of the hand. Some like the society of 
man and inhabit our dwellings ; others de- 
light in mountains and in desert places. 
There is a great difference too in their pecu- 
liar notes. Some twitter and chatter, others 
are silent, some have a melodious and sono- 
rous voice, some are wholly inharmonious 
and incapable of song; some imitate the 
voice of man, taught their mimicry either by 
nature or training ; » others always give forth 
the same monotonous cry. The cock is proud ; 
the peacock is vain of his beauty ; doves and 
fowls are amorous, always seeking each 
other's society. The partridge is deceitful 
and jealous, lending perfidious help to the 
huntsmen to seize their prey.^ 

4. What a variety, I have said, in the 
actions and lives of flying creatures ! Some of 
these unreasoning creatures even have a gov- 
ernment, if the feature of government is to 
make the activity of all the individuals centre 
in one common end. This may be observed in 
bees. They have a common dwelling place ; 
they fly in the air together, they work at the 
same work together; and what is still more 
extraordinary is that they give themselves to 
these labours under the guidance of a king 
and superintendent, and that they do not 
allow themselves to fly to the meadows with- 
out seeing if the king is flying at their head. 
As to this king, it is not election that gives 
him this authority ; ignorance on the part of 
the people often puts the worst man in 
power ; it is not fate ; the blind decisions of 
fate often give authority to the most un- 
worthy. It is not heredity that places him 
on the throne ; it is only too common to see 
the children of kings, corrupted by luxury 
and flattery, living in ignorance of all virtue. 
It is nature which makes the king of the bees, 
for nature gives him superior size, beauty, 
and sweetness of character. He has a sting 
like the others, but he does not use it to 
revenge himself.^ It is a principle of natu- 
ral and unwritten law, that those who are 
raised to high office, ought to be lenient in 
punishing. Even bees who do not follow 



1" Super omnia humanas voces reddunty posittaci qui'dem 
scrmocinantes." Plin.x. 53. 

2 Arist. , Hist. A71. ix. 10. 

3 Arist., Hist. An. v, 21, and Plin. xi. 17. " Ecce in re parva, 
villisque nostra annexa, cuj'us assidua copia est, non constat 
inter anctores, rex nullunifie solus habeat aculeum, majestate 
tantum armatus : an dederit eum quidem natura, sea usum 
ejus illi tantum negaverit. Illud constat imperatorem aculeo 
non uti." 



the example of their king, repent without 
delay of their imprudence, since they lose 
their lives with their sting. Listen, Chris- 
tians, you to whom it is forbidden to " recom- 
pense evil for evil" and commanded "to 
overcome evil with good." ' Take the bee 
for your model, which constructs its cells 
without injuring any one and without inter- 
fering with the goods of others. It gathers 
openly wax from the flowers with its mouth, 
drawing in the honey scattered over them 
like dew, and injects it into the hollow of its 
cells. Thus at first honey is liquid ; time 
thickens it and gives it its sweetness.^ The 
book of Proverbs has given the bee the most 
honourable and the best praise by calling her 
wise and industrious.^ How much activity 
she exerts in gathering this precious nourish- 
ment, by which both kings and men of low 
degree are brought to health ! How great is the 
art and cunning she displays in the construc- 
tion of the store houses which are destined to 
receive the honey ! After having spread the 
wax like a thin membrane, she distributes it 
in contiguous compartments which, weak 
though they are, by their number and by 
their mass, sustain the whole edifice. Each 
cell in fact holds to the one next to it, and is 
separated by a thin partition ; we thus see two 
or three galleries of cells built one upon the 
other. The bee takes care not to make one 
vast cavity, for fear it might break under 
the weight of the liquid, and allow it to 
escape. See how tlie discoveries of geometry 
are mere by-works to the wise bee ! ■* 

The rows of honey-comb are all hexagonal 
with equal sides. They do not bear on 
each other in straight lines, lest the supports 
should press on empty spaces between and 
give way ; but the angles of the lower hexa- 
gons serve as foundations and bases to those 
which rise above, so as to furnish a sure 
support to the lower mass, and so that each 
cell may securely keep the liquid honey." 

1 Rom. xii. 17, 21. 

2 The ancient belief was that honey fell from heaven, in the 
shape of dew, and the bee only g^athered it from leaves. So 
Very., Ec. iv. t,o, *' rosrida nieiia,'^ axid Georg. iv. i, '■^ aerii 
mellis ccelestia dona.'''' cf. Arist., H.A. v. 22, .ueAi 6e to itltttov 
€< Tou oepos, /cat ju.a.AtcrTa twj/ acrrpiav araroAat?, koX 'orav Kara- 
(Ticri(}>r) q ipi?, and Plin. xi. 12. ** Sive ille est cceli sudor, sive 
qucedam siderum saliva, sine purgantis se aeris succus, . . . 
fnagnam tamen ccelestis naturce vohiptatem affert.^' So Cole- 
ridge (Kubla Khan) : 

" For he on honey dew hath fed 
And drunk the milk of Paradise." 

3 Prov. vi. 8, Ixx. The reference to the bee is not in the 
Hebrew^. 

* cf. .^lian. v. 13. yeiofxerpiav Se koX xaAAij tr^Tjju.aTwi' Kal 
wpai'as TtAacreis avTwv avev re^vqi; re kol icavovutv Kal toD /caAov- 
fxeyov UTTO Ttav cro^utv Sta^rjTOV , to /caAAicrTOt' <rvr)/u,aTwt' e^ayoivov 
Te Koi e^dnXevpov Ka'i tcroyuiviov aTToSeiKvvvTac at /aeAtrrat. 

5 The mathematical exactness of the bee is described by 
Darwin in terms which make it even more marvellous than it 
appeared to Basil. " The most wonderful of all known in- 
stincts, that of the hive bee, may be explained by natural selec- 
tion having taken advantasje of numerous slight modifications 
of simpler instincts ; natural selection having by slow degrees 
more and more perfectly led the bees to sweep equal spheres 



98 



BASIL. 



5. How shall we make an exact review 
of all the peculiarities of the life of birds? 
During the night cranes keep watch in turn ; 
some sleep, others make the rounds and pro- 
cure a quiet slumber for their companions. 
After having finished his duty, the sentry 
utters a cry, and goes to sleep, and the one 
who awakes, in his turn, repays the security 
which he has enjoyed.* You will see the 
same order reign in their flight. One leads 
the wav, and when it has guided the flight 
of the flock for a certain time, it passes to 
the rear, leaving to the one who comes after 
the care of directing the march. 

The conduct of storks comes very near 
intelliG^ent reason. In these reo^ions the 
same season sees them all migrate. They 
all start at one given signal. And it seems 
to me that our crows, serving them as escort, 
go to bring them back, and to help them 
against the attacks of hostile birds. The 
proof is that in this season not a single crow 
appears, and that they return with wounds, 
evident marks of the help and of the assist- 
ance that they have lent. Who has explained 
to them the laws of hospitality.? Who has 
threatened them with the penalties of deser- 
tion? For not one is missing from the com- 
pany. Listen, all inhospitable hearts, ye who 
shut your doors, whose house is never open 
either in the winter or in the night to travellers. 
The solicitude of storks for their old would 
be suflicient, if our children would reflect 
upon it, to make them love their parents ; 
because there is no one so failing in good 
sense, as not to deem it a shame to be sur- 
passed in virtue by birds devoid of reason. 
The storks surround their father, when old 
age makes his feathers drop off, warm him 
with their wings, and provide abundantly for 
his support, and even in their flight they help 
him as much as they are able, raising him 
gently on each side upon their wings, a 
conduct so notorious that it has given to 
gratitude the name of '' antipelargosis." ^ 
Let no one lament poverty ; let not the man 
whose house is bare despair of his life, when 
he considers the industry of the swallow. 
To build her nest, she brings bits of straw 



at a given distance from each other in a double hiver, and to 
build up and excavate the wax along the planes of intersec- 
tion." Origi7t of Species, ii. 255, ed. 1S61 Accordir.ij to this 
view the beings from whom hive bees, as we know them, are 
descended were gifted with certain simple instincts capable 
of a kind of hereditary unconscious education, rt-sulting in a 
complex instinct which constructs with exact precision the 
hexagonal chamber best fitted for the purpose it is designed to 
fulfil, and then packs it. And it is interesting to note how the 
great apostle of abstract selection personifies it as a *' taker " 
of " advantage," and a " leader." 

1 Arist., Hist. An. ix. 10. 

2 From TreAapyo?. On the pious affection of the stork, cf. 
Pla.to, /1/c. i. M5 (§61), Arist., //./I. ix. 13,20, ^lian, H.A. iii. 
23, and x. ir>, and Plin. x. 32. From TreAaoyb? was supposed to 
be derived the Pvtha^orean word neXaoyav (Diog. Laert. viii. 
20), but this is now regarded us a corruption of Tj-eSaprdt'. 



in her beak ; and, as she cannot raise the 
mud in her claws, she moistens the end of her 
wings in water and then rolls in very flne 
dust and thus procures mud.* After having 
united, little by little, the bits of straw with 
this mud, as with glue, she feeds her young; 
and if any one of them has its eyes injured, she 
has a natural remedy to heal the sight of her 
little ones.^ 

This sight ought to warn you not to take 
to evil ways on account of poverty ; and, even 
if you are reduced to the last extremity, not 
to lose all hope; not to abandon yourself to 
inaction and idleness, but to have recourse to 
God. If He is so bountiful to the swallow, 
what will He not do for those who call upon 
Him with all their heart? 

The halcyon is a sea bird, which lays its 
eggs along the shore, or deposits them in the 
sand. And it lays in the middle of winter, 
when the violence of the winds dashes the 
sea against the land. Yet all winds are 
hushed, and the wave of the sea grows calm, 
during the seven days that the halcyon sits.'* 

For it only takes seven days to hatch the 
young. Then, as they are in need of food 
so that they may grow, God, in His muni li- 
cence, grants another seven days to this 
tiny animal. All sailors know this, and call 
these days halcyon davs. If divine Provi- 
dence has established these marvellous laws 
in favour of creatures devoid of reason, it 
is to induce you to ask for your salvation from 
God. Is there a wonder which He will not 
perform for you — you have been made in His 
image, when for so little a bird, the great, 
the fearful sea is held in check and is com- 
manded in the midst of winter to be calm. 

6. It is said that the tm-tle-dove, once 
separated from her mate, does not con- 
tract a new imion, but remains in widow- 
liood, in remembrance of her first alliance."* 
Listen, O women ! What veneration for 
widowhood, even in these creatures de- 
void of reason, how they prefer it to an 
unbecoming multiplicity of marriages. I'he 
eagle shows the greatest injustice in the edu- 

'^^'- Ilirundines hito construunt, strain I'tie rohorant : si 
qiiando inopia est hiti^madefactce miilia aqua pcntiis pulverem 
spargunty Plin. x. 49. cf. Arisl., Hist. An. ix. 10. 

^** Chelidoniam visiii salttberrimam hirundines monstra- 
vere. vcxatis piillorum ociilis ilia medetitesJ'* Plin. viii. 41. 
cf JElian, H.A. iii. 25. Chelidonia is swallowwort or celan- 
dine. 

3 " Foetificant bruma, qui dies halcyonides vocantur , placido 
mart per eos et navigahili, Siculo maxime. Plin. x. 47. cf. 
Arist., HA. v. S, 9, and ^lian, H.JV. i. ^6. So Theoc. vii. 57 : 

X' a/V/cuove? crTOpecrevi'Tt. tH KVfJiaTaf rdv re d^dXacFcrav 
Tof re fOTOv tout' eupou 05 ecrxo-To. <f)VKia klvsl. 
Sir Thomas Browne ( Vulgar Errors) denies the use of a 
kingfisher as a weather-gauge, but says nothing as to tlie 
" halcyon days." Kingfishers are rarely seen in tht; open sea, 
but haunt estuaries which are calm without any special 
miracle.. Possibly the halcyon was a tern or sea-swallow, 
which resembles a kingfisher, but they brood on land. 

4 Arist., H.A. ix.7. 



THE HEXAEMERON. 



99 



cation which she gives to her young. When 
she has hatched two httle ones, she throws 
one on the ground, thrusting it out with 
blows from her wings, and only acknowledges 
the remaining one. It is the difficulty of 
finding food wliich has made her repulse the 
offspring she has brought forth. But the 
osprey, it is said, will not allow it to perish, 
she carries it away and brings it up with her 
young ones.* Such are parents who, under 
the plea of poverty, expose their children ; 
sucli are again those who, in the distribution 
of their inheritance, make unequal divisions. 
Since they have given existence equally to 
each of their children, it is just that they 
should equally and without preference fur- 
nish them with the means of livelihood. Be- 
ware of imitating the cruelty of birds with 
hooked talons. When they see their young 
are from henceforth capable of encountering 
the air in their flight, they throw them out 
of the nest, striking them and pushing them 
with their wings, and do not take the least- 
care of them. The love of the crow for its 
young is laudable ! When they begin to fly, 
she follows them, gives them food, and for a 
very long time provides for their nourish- 
ment. Many birds have no need of union 
with males to conceive. But their eggs are 
unfruitful, except those of vultures, who 
more often, it is said, bring forth without 
coupling:^ and this although they have a 
very lon^: life, which often reaches its hun- 
dredth year. Note and retain, I pray you, this 
point in the history of birds; and if ever you 
see any one laugh at our mystery, as if it 
were impossible and contrary to nature that 
a virgin should become a mother w^ithout 
losing the purity of her virginity, bethink 
you that He who would save the faithful by 
the foolishness of preaching, has given us 
beforehand in nature a thousand reasons for 
believing in the marvellous.^ 

7. ''''Let the waters bring fortJi the moving 

* Ar. vi. 6 and ix. 34. *■' Melanaetos . . . sola aquilarum 
fxtiis suos alit ; ceterca . . . fuoraiit.'" Plin. x. 3. ^^^ Pariunt 
ova tenia : excluduiit pullos binos : vi'si sunt et trcs aliquan- 
do." id. 4, following- Mussens {apud Plutarch, Jn Mario, 
p. 426). (u? rpta [x^v Ticret, h\}t 6' e<X-:Tret, ^v 6' dAey.fei. On the 
osprey, see Arist., H.A. ix. 44 and Pliny loc. " Sed ejectos ab 
his cognatiim genus ossifragi excipiunt^ et educant cum suis." 

2 Arist., /list. An, vi]6;ind ix. 15. So Pliny x. vii. *' Nidos 
nemo attigit: ideo etlam fnere qui pufarent illos ex adverso 
orbe advolare^nidijicant enim in cxcclsissimis rupibus." cf. 
also vEli m, ii. 46: -yu-Ta 6i cippet'a ou ^a.(Ti yiyveadii-i Trore aAAa 

3 This analogy is repeated almost in identicai words in 
Risil's Hoin. xxii. De I rovidentia. cf. also his Com. on 
Isaiah. St. Ambrose repeats the illustration {Hex. v. 20). 
The analogy, even if the facts were true, would be false and 
mi^.leading. But it is curious to note that were any modern 
divine desirous of here following in Basil's track, he might 
find the alleged facts in the latest modern science, — ^•^. in 
the so-called Parthenogenesis, or virginal reproduction, among 
insects, as said to be demonstmted by Siebold. Ilaeckel {Hist, 
of Creation, Lankester's ed. ii. p. i^) represents sexual re- 
production as quite a receut development of non-sexual repro 
duclion. 



creatures that have life^ and fowl that may 
fly above the earth in the opeit flrmainent of 
heaven,'"' They received the command to 
fly above the earth because earth provides 
them with nourishment. " In the firmament 
of heaven," that is to say, as we have said 
before, in that part of the air called ovpavor, 
heaven,' from the word bpav^ which ineans to 
see ; ^ called firmament, because the air 
which extends over our heads, compared to 
the lEther, has greater density, and is thick- 
ened by the vapours which exhale from 
the earth. You have then heaven adorned, 
earth beautified, the sea peopled with its 
own creatures, the air filled with birds which 
scour it in every direction. Studious lis- 
tener, think of all these creations which 
God has drawn out of nothing, think of 
all those which my speech has left out, to 
avoid tediousness, and not to exceed my 
liinits ; recognise everywhere the wisdom of 
God ; never cease to wonder, and, through 
every creature, to glorify the Creator. 

There are some kinds of birds which live by 
night in the midst of darkness ; others which 
fly b}- day in full light. Bats, owls, night- 
ravens are birds of night : if by chance you 
cannot sleep, reflect on these nocturnal birds 
and their peculiarities and glorify their 
Maker. How is it that the nightingale is 
always awake when sitting on her eggs, pass- 
ing the night in a continual melody.^ ^ How 
is it that one animal, the bat, is at the 
same time quadruped and fowl. ^ That it is 
the only one of the birds to have teeth .^ 
That it is viviparous like quadrupeds, and 
traverses the air, raising itself not upon 
wings, but upon a kind of membrane.?'* 
What natural love bats have for each other ! 
How they Interlace like a chain and hang the 
one upon the other ! A very rare spectacle 
among men, who for the greater part prefer 
individual and private life to the union of 
common life. Have not those who give 
themselves up to vain science the eyes of 
owls } The slglit of the owl, piercing during 
the night time, is dazzled by the splendour 
of the sun ; thus the intelligence of these men, 
so keen to contemplate vanities, is blind in 
presence of the true light. 

During the day, also, how easy it is for you 
to admire the Creator everywhere ! See how 

1 cf. note on p. 70. 

2 The Greek \vord <rrepe(uu,a, from crrepeo?, stronsr, >'> trace- 
able to the root star, to spread out, and so indirectly asso- 
ciated with the connotation of the Hebrew rakia 

3 Arist., //./I. viii. 75. Pliny x. 43. ^^ Luscimts diebus ac 
7ioctibus continuis qnindecim garrulus sine intermtssu canius, 
detisante se frondium g ermine,, not. iff n^ovi^sip^um digna 
tniratu ave.^^ « *, * , * * 

* So also Basil in Horn, on IsAkik iii/4^7. //. J^liny x. Si, 
'^ ctii et membranacece pinttce uni.t ^» • • • •• • 



100 



BASIL. 



the domestic cock calls you to work with his 
shrill cry, and how, forerunner of the sun, 
and early as the traveller, he sends forth 
labourers to the harvest! What vigilance 
in geese! With what sagacity they divine 
secret dangers ! Did they not once upon a 
time save the imperial city? When enemies 
were advancing by subterranean passages to 
possess themselves of the capitol of Rome, 
did not geese announce the danger?^ Is 
there any kind of bird whose nature offers 
nothinof for our admiration? Who announces 
to the vultures that there will be carnage 
when men march in battle array against one 
another? You may see flocks of vultures 
following armies and calculating the result 
of warlike preparations; ^ a calculation very 
nearly approaching to human reasoning. 
How can I describe to you the fearful inva- 
sions of locusts, which rise everwhere at a 
given signal, and pitch their camps all over a 
country ? They do not attack crops until they 
have received the divine command. Or shall 
I describe how the remedy for this curse, the 
thrush, follows them with its insatiable appe- 
tite, and the devouring nature that the loving 
God has given it in His kindness for men?^ 
How does the grasshopper modulate its 
song?* Why is it more melodious at mid- 
day owing to the air that it breathes in dilat- 
ing its chest? 

But it appears to me that in wishing to 
describe the marvels of winged creatures, I 
remain further behind than I should if my 
feet had tried to match the rapidity of their 
flight. When you see bees, wasps, in short 
all those flying creatures called insects, be- 
cause they have an incision all around, 
reflect that they have neither respiration nor 
lungs, and that they are supported by air 
through all parts of their bodies.^ Thus 
they perish, if they are covered with oil, be- 
cause it stops up their pores. Wash them 
with vinegar, the pores reopen and the ani- 
mal returns to life. Our God has created 



"^ cf. Livy V. 47 and Plutarch, Camillus, or Verg-. viii. 655, 
The alternafive tradition of the mine is preserved by Servius. 

2 cf. -^lian, H.A. ii. 46. Kal /ixeVrot /cai rat? e/cfirj/aoi? arpa- 
Ttai? enovTai yvne<; Koi juaAa ye /LtavTiKios on et? TroAejaoi' xwpovcTLv 
eiSore? Kal on P-6i\ri Tiaaa epyd^erat ve/cpou? Kai rovTO eyvcoKOTCj, 

rf. Pliny x. SS : *' vultures sagacius odorafitiir.^^ 

3 cf. Giiien. vi. 3. 

4 Fialon, quoting the well known ode of Anakreon, " ixaKapL- 
^OineV ae Tt'TTi^," and Plato's theory of the affection of grass- 
hoppers and the muses in the I^/i^driis, contrasts the *' caniu 
qzienilcB rumpcnt arbusta cicadce" of Vergil {Georg. lii. 32S), 
and points out that the Romans did not share the Greek ad- 
miration for the grasshopper's song, 

^ " Insecta multi negarunt spirare, idque ratione persua- 
denies, quoniam in viscera interiora nexus spirahilis non 
inesset. Itaqiie vivere ut frug'es, arboresque : sed pliiri^num 
interesse spiret aliqtiid an vivat. Eadem de causa nee san- 
guineni its esse qui sit nullis carentibus corde atque jecore. 
Sic nee spircire^ea ,quibus pi(hno desit unde mimerosa series 
qucestionum •exo'.'itur. lid'imenim et vocem esse his negant, 
in tail to mui^mure api'icm, aili^^darum so7io , . . nee video cur 
inag'is possint noci trahirl rnimam talia, et vivere, quam 
spirare sine visceribtis." Plin, xi. 2. 



nothing unnecessarily and has omitted nothing 
that is necessary. If now you cast your e3es 
upon aquatic creatures, you will find that 
their organization is quite diflerent. Their 
feet are not split like those of the crow, nor 
hooked like those of the carnivora, but large 
and membraneous ; therefore they can easily 
swim, pushing the water with the mem- 
branes of their feet as with oars. Notice 
how the swan plunges his neck into the 
depths of the water to diaw his food from it, 
and you will understand the wisdom of the 
Creator in giving this creature a neck longer 
than his feet, so that he may throw it like a 
line, and take the food hidden at the bottom 
of the water. ^ 

8. If we simply read the words of Scrip- 
ture we find only a few short syllables. " Let 
the waters bring forth fowl that may fly above 
the earth in the open firmament of heaven," 
but if we enquire into the meaning of these 
words, then the great wonder of the wisdom 
of the Creator appears. What a difference 
He has foreseen among winged creatures ! 
How He has divided them by kinds ! How 
He has characterized each one of them by 
distinct qualities ! But the day will not suf- 
fice me to recount the wonders of the air. 
Earth is calling me to describe wild beasts, 
reptiles and cattle, ready to show us in her 
turn sights rivalling those of plants, fish, and 
birds. '' Let the earth brins: forth the livino: 
soul " of domestic animals, of wild beasts, 
and of reptiles after their kind. What have 
you to say, you who do not believe in the 
change that Paul promises you in the resur- 
rection, when you see so many metamor- 
phoses among creatures of the air? What 
are we not told of the horned worm of India ! 
First it changes into a caterpillar,^ then be- 
comes a buzzing insect, and not content with 
this form, it clothes itself, instead of wings, 
with loose, broad plates. Thus, O women, 
when you are seated busy with your weav- 
ing, I mean of the silk which is sent you by 
the Chinese to make your delicate dresses,^ 
remember the metamorphoses of this crea- 
ture, conceive a clear idea of the resurrection, 
and do not refuse to believe in the change 
that Paul announces for all men. 

But I am ashamed to see that my discourse 
oversteps the accustomed limits; if I con- 
sider the abundance of matters on which I 
have just discoursed to you, I feel that I am 
being borne beyond bounds ; but when I 
reflect upon the inexhaustible wisdom which 

1 Arist., De Part. An. iv. 12. 

2 This word is curiously rendered by Eustathius veruccs, 
and by Ambrose caulis. Garnier {Prcef. in Bas. 2S) thinks 
that the latter perhaps found in some corrupt MS. Kpdfx^-qv for 
Kap-rnqv. 

3 Arist., I/.A. V. 19. 



THE HEXAEMERON. 



lOI 



is displayed in the works of creation, I seem 
to be but at the beginning of my story. 
Nevertheless, I have not detained you so 
long v^^ithout profit. . For w^hat would you 
have done until the eveninsr? You are not 
pressed by guests, nor expected at banquets. 
Let me then employ this bodily fast to 
rejoice your souls. You have often served 
the flesh for pleasure, to-day persevere in the 
ministry of the soul. '^ Delight thyself also 
in the Lord and he shall give thee the desire 
of thine heart."* Do you love riches? 
Here are spiritual riches. " The judgments 
of the Lord are true and rio^hteous altog-ether. 
* More to be desired are they than gold and 
precious stones." ^ Do you love enjoyment 
and pleasures ? Behold the oracles of the Lord, 
which, for a healthy soul, are "sweeter than 
honey and the honey-comb.'' ^ If I let you 
go, and if I dismiss this assembly, some will 
run to the dice, where they will find bad 
language, sad quarrels and the pangs of 
avarice. There stands the devil, inflaming 
the fury of the players with the dotted bones,"* 
transporting the same sums of money from 
one side of the table to the other, now exalt- 
ing one with victory and throwing the other 
into despair, now swelling the first with 
boastinof and coverino: his rival with confu- 
sion.^ Of what use is bodily fasting and fill- 
ing the soul with innumerable evils? He 
who does not play spends his leisure else- 
where. What frivolities come from his 
mouth! What follies strike his ears! 
Leisure without the fear of the Lord is, for 
those who do not know the value of time, 
a school of vice.^ I hope that my words 
will be profitable; at least by occupying you 
here they have prevented you from sinning. 
Thus the longer I keep you, the longer you 
are out of the way of evil. 

An equitable judge will deem that I have 
said enough, not if he considers the riches of 
creation, but if he thinks of our weakness and 
of the measure one ought to keep in that 
which tends to pleasure. Earth has wel- 
comed you with its own plants, water with 
its fish, air with its birds ; the continent in 
its turn is ready to offer you as rich treasures. 



1 Ps. xxxvii. 4. 2 ps, xix. 9 and 10, LXX. 

3 Ps. xix. 10. 

* The Kvpot. were marked on all six sides, the aarpdyaKoL on 
only four, the ends being rounded. 

" With Basil's description of the gaming tables, presumably 
of Caesarea, cf. Ovid's of those of Rome : 

•' /ra sub it, deform e malum, lucrique cupido / 
yurgiaque et rixce, sollicitusque dolor. 
Crimina dicuntiir, resonat clamoribus cether, 
Invocat iratos et sibi quisque deos. 
Nulla fides : iabulaqiie 7ioi'ce per Tota petuntur, 
Et lacrymis vidi scepe madere ffenis. 

De A. A. iii. 373 seqq» 

6" Cernis tit ignavtun corrumpant otia corpus. ^^ Ovid, I. 
Potit. 6. " Facito aliquid open's ut semper Diabolus inveniat 
te occupatum." Jerome, Iti K. Monach. 



But let us put an end to this morning ban- 
quet, for fear satiety may blunt your taste for 
the evening one. May He who has filled all 
with the works of His creation and has left 
everywhere visible memorials of His won- 
ders, fill your hearts with all spiritual joys in 
Jesus Christ, our Lord, to whom belong 
glory and power, world without end. Amen. 

HOMILY IX. 

The creation of terrestrial animals, 

I. How did you like the fare of my morn- 
ing's discourse? It seemed to me that I had 
the good intentions of a poor giver of a feast, 
who, ambitious of having the credit of keep- 
ing a good table saddens his guests by the 
poor supply of the more expensive dishes. 
In vain he lavishly covers his table with his 
mean fare ; his ambition only shows his 
folly. It is foi* you to judge if I have 
shared the same fate. Yet, whatever my dis- 
course may have been, take care lest you 
disregard it. No one refused to sit at the 
table of Elisha ; and yet he only gave his 
friends wild vegetables.* I know the laws 
of allegor}^, though less by myself than 
from the works of others. There are those 
truly, who do not admit the common sense 
of the Scriptures, for whom water is not 
water, but some other nature, who see in a 
plant, in a fish, what their fancy wishes, who 
change the nature of reptiles and of wild 
beasts to suit their allegories, like the inter- 
preters of dreams who explain visions in 
sleep to make them serve their own ends. 
For me grass is grass ; plant, fish, w^ild 
beast, domestic animal, I take all in the 
literal sense. ^ "For I am not ashamed of 
the gospel." ^ Those who have written about 
the nature of the universe have discussed at 
length the shape of the earth. If it be 
spherical or cylindrical, if it resemble a disc 
and is equally rounded in all parts, or if it 
has the form of a winnowing basket and is 
hollow in the middle ; * all these conjectures 
have been suggested by cosmographers, each 
one upsetting that of his predecessor. It 
will not lead me to give less importance to 
the creation of the universe, that the ser- 
vant of God, Moses, is silent as to shapes; 

1 2 Kings iv. 39. 

2 Fialon thinks that this plain reference to Origen may have 
been evoked by some criticisms on the Ilird Homily, {cf. p. 71.) 
St. Basil's literalism and bold departure from the allegorizing 
of Origen and from the milder mysticism of Eusebius are re- 
marked on in the Prolegomena. 

3 Rom. i. 16. 

* Q(xKy]<i Kal ot Srwi'/col kcli 01 a7r' avrCjv Cf^aipoeiSr) ttji' yrjv, 
'Ava^ifj.avSpo'; \i.d-(o Ki.oi'i TYji' yrjv npo(j4>epfi tcjv eTrnreSuJv. 'Ava^i- 
jU-eVrj?, rpane^oeiSfi. Aeu/ciTTTro?, TV/aTrafoeiSij, Arjjao/cpiTO?, SiaKOtiSrj 
fxev T(Z TrAarei, KoiXrjv 8e to fxeaov. Plut. Trepi. rCov apecr/c. iii. lO. 
Arist. (De .Ccelo ii. 14) follows Thales. So Manilius i. 235 : 
•' Ex quo colligitur terrarum forma rotunda." 



102 



BASIL. 



he has not said that the earth Is a hundred 
and eighty thousand furlongs in circum- 
ference ; he has not measured into what 
extent of air its shadow projects itself 
whilst the sun revolves around it, nor stated 
how this shadow, casting itself upon the 
moon, produces eclipses. He has passed 
over in silence, as useless, all that is unim- 
portant for us. Shall I then prefer foolish 
wisdom to the oracles, of the Holy Spirit.^ 
Sliall I not rather exalt Him who, not wish- 
ing to fill our minds v/ith these vanities, has 
regulated all the economy of Scripture in 
view of the edification and the making per- 
fect of our souls? It is this which those 
seem to me not to have understood, who, 
giving themselves up to the distorted mean- 
ing of allegory, have undertaken to give a 
majesty of their own invention to Scripture. 
It is to believe themselves wiser than the 
Holy Spirit, and to bring forth their own 
ideas under a pretext of exegesis. Let us hear 
Scripture as it has been written. 

3. " Let tJie earth bring forth the living 
creature.'^ ' Behold the word of God per- 
vading creation, beginning even then the effi- 
cacy which is seen displayed to-day, and 
will be displayed to the end of the world ! 
As a ball, which one pushes, if it meet a 
declivity, descends, carried by its form and 
the nature of the ground and does not stop 
until it has reached a level surface ; so nature, 
once put in motion by the Divine command, 
traverses creation with an equal step, through 
birth and death, and keeps up the succes- 
sion of kinds through resemblance, to the 
last.^ Nature always makes a horse suc- 
ceed to a -horse, a lion to a lion, an eagle 
to an eagle, and preserving each animal by 
these uninterrupted successions she trans- 
mits it to the end of all things. Animals do not 
see their peculiarities destroyed or effaced by 
any length of time ; their nature, as though it 
had been just constituted, follows the course 
of ages, for ever young. ^ " Let the earth 
bring forth the living creature." This com- 
mand has continued and earth does not cease 
to obey the Creator. For, if there are crea- 
tiu'eswhich are successively produced by their 
predecessors, there are others that even to- 
day we see born from the earth itself. In 
wet w^eather she brings forth grasshoppers 
and an immense number of insects which 
fly in the air and have no names because 
they are so small ; she also produces mice 
and frogs. In the environs of Thebes in 
Egypt, after abundant rain in hot weather, 

1 Gen. i, 34. 2 cf. note on Horn. v. p. 76. 

3 " Sed, si qtieeqne suo ritu procedit^ et omnes 

Foedere naturce certo discrimina servant.'''' 

Luc. V. 921. 



the country is covered with field mice. ^ We 
see mud alone produce eels; they do not 
proceed from an Q%^>, nor in any other man- 
ner; it is the earth alone which gives them 
birth. ^ Let the earth produce a living crea- 
ture." 

Cattle are terrestrial and bent towards the 
earth. Man, a celestial growth, rises superior 
to them as much by the mould of his bodily 
conformation as by the dignity of his soul. 
What is the form of quadrupeds? Their 
head is bent towards the earth and looks 
towards their belly, and only pursues their 
belly's good. Thy head, O man ! is turned 
towards heaven; thy eyes look up.^ When 
therefore thou degradest thyself by the pas- 
sions of the flesh, slave of thy belly, and thy 
lowest parts, thou approachest animals with- 
out reason and becomest like one of them/ 
Thou art called to more noble cares ; " seek 
those things which are above where Christ 
sitteth.'** Raise thy soul above the earth; 
draw from its natural conformation the rule 
of thy conduct; fix thy conversation in 
heaven. Thy true country is the heavenly 
Jerusalem ;^ thy fellow-citizens and thy com- 
patriots are " the first-born which are writ- 
ten in heaven." ^ 

3. " Let the earth bring forth the living 
creature.''^ Thus when the soul of brutes 
appeared it was not concealed in the earth, 
but it was born by the command of God. 
Brutes have one and the same soul of which 
the common characteristic is absence of rea- 
son. But each animal is distinguished by 
peculiar qualities. The ox is steady, the ass 
is lazy, the horse has strong passions, the 
wolf cannot be tamed, the fox is deceitful, 
the stag timid, the ant industrious, the dog 
grateful and faithful in his friendships. As 
each animal was created the distinctive char- 
acter of his nature appeared in him in due 
measure ; in the lion spirit, taste for solitary 
life, an unsociable character. True tyrant 
of animals, he, in his natural arrogance, 
admits but few to share his honours. He 
disdains his yesterday's food and never re- 

i cf. PUn. ix. 84 : ** Vertcm omnibus his fi dent Nili inunda. 
tio affert omnia excedente miraculo : qnippe detegente eo mus- 
cnli reperiuntur inchoato opere genitalis aquce terroeqiie, jatn 
parte corporis viventes, novissima effigie etiamntim terrena.^'' 
So Mela De Nilo i. 9, " Glebis etiom itiftindit animas, ex 
ipsoque humo -vitalia effingit" and Ovid, Met. i. 42 : 
•• Sic nbi deseruit madidos septemjlutis agros 
Nilus, et antiqno sua flumina reddidit alveo, 
uElhereoque recens e.xarsit sidere limus, 
Plurima cultores versis aftim alia glebis 
Inveniunt." 
2 Arist., H.A. vi. 16. At \yx'^Kv<i yiyvovTai. e< TUiv KaXov fx4v(xiv 
yr}<; ivripiov & avTOfxara avvicrTaTai. eu tu> tttjAoj koI iy rfj yfj ei/iKfj.w. 
Kal r)8r) eicric w/xfj-evai al fxeu eKSvvovarai. eK toutwi', at 8e iv Sea- 
Ki'tfoaeVot? Koi Si.a.i,povfjisuoii yiyuouTai (f)a.v€pai. 

^ Arist., I*art. An, iv. 10, iS. ii.6vov op^ov eo-rt twi/ ^cJcoi/ 6 

4 cf. Ps. x]ix. 12. * cf. Phil. iii. 30. 

c Col. iii. 1. 7 Heb. xii. 23. 



THE HEXAEMERON. 



lo-i 



turns to the remains of the prey. Nature 
has provided his organs of voice with such 
great force that often much swifter animals 
are caught by his roaring alone. The j^an- 
ther, violent and impetuous in his leaps, has 
a body fitted for his activity and lightness, in 
accord with the movements of liis soul. The 
bear has a sluggish nature, ways of its own, 
a sly character, and is very secret ; therefore 
it has an analogous body, heavy, thick, with- 
out articulations such as are necessary for a 
cold dweller in dens. 

When we consider the natural and innate 
care that these creatures without reason 
take of their lives we shall be induced to 
watch over ourselves and to think of the sal- 
vation of our souls; or rather we shall be the 
more condemned when we are found falling 
short even of the imitation of brutes. The 
bear, which often gets severely wounded, 
cares for himself and cleverly fills the wounds 
with mullein, a plant whose nature is very 
astringent. You will also see the fox heal 
his wounds with droppings from the pine 
tree ; the tortoise, gorged with the flesh of 
the viper, finds in the virtue of marjoram a 
specific against this venomous animal ^ and 
the serpent heals sore eyes by eating fennel.^ 

And is not reasoning intelligence eclipsed 
by animals in their provision for atmospheric 
changes ? Do we not see sheep, when winter 
is approaching, devouring grass with avidity 
as if to make provision for future scarcity? 
Do we not also see oxen, long confined in 
the winter season, recognise the return of 
spring by a natural sensation, and look to the 
end of their stables towards the doors, all 
turning their heads there by common con- 
sent? Studious observers have remarked 
that the hedgehog makes an opening at the 
two extremities of his hole. If the wind 
from the north is going to blow he shuts 
up the aperture which looks towards the 
north ; if the south wind succeeds it the 
animal passes to the northern door.^ What 
lesson do these animals teach man? They 
not only show us in our Creator a care 
which extends to all beings, but a certain 
presentiment of future even inbrutes. Then 
we ought not to attach ourselves to this pres- 
ent life and ought to give all heed to that 
which is to come. Will you not be indus- 
trious for yourself, O man? And will you 

1 Plut. TTOT. TMV. ^. K.T.X. ;;(eAa)i'at fiev opiyavov^ yaXal Se 
■nriyavov , orat' 6(f)e(05 ^dyiocrtv, enecrx^LOvaai, 

cf. PJiny XX. 68: ** Tragoriganum contra viperce ictum effi- 
cacissimiim.''^ 

2 6 5pa/cu)i/ o Tcp fxapcid^pto tov o^&a\/j.ov apL^XixoTTTOvra Xenrv- 
v<av Kol StayapaTTixii'. Plut. Trorepa tojv f. /c.t.A.. 731 . ^ 

3 Ar., I/isi. An. ix.6. irepi Se t^? twi/ evtvo)!/ aia'&ri<Tew<; (rv/uj3e- 
^■qice noWaxov Tet^eojprjcri^at on jueTa|3aAAovTwf /Sopewv koll i/6tcoc 
oi fxev ev rrj yfj toL? OTrds avrujv ix^Tap-ei^ovai. oi 6' ei' rais oi/ctats 
Tpec^o/Acj'ot /xeTajSdAAovcrt irpos tovs toixo^s. 



not lay up in the present age rest in that 
which is to come, after having seen the 
example of the ant? The ant during sum- 
mer collects treasures for winter. Far from 
giving itself up to idleness, before this season 
has made it feel its severity, it hastens to 
work with an invincible zeal until it has 
abundantly filled its storehouses. Here 
again, how far it is from being negligent! 
With what wise foresight it manages so as 
to keep its provisions as long as possible ! 
With its pincers it cuts the grains in half, 
for fear lest they should germinate and not 
serve for its food. If they are damp it dries 
them ; and it does not spread them out in all 
weathers, but when it feels that the air will 
keep of a mild temperature. Be sure that 
you will never see rain fall from the clouds 
so long as the ant has left the grain out.' 

W^hat language can attain to the marvels 
of the Creator? What ear could understand 
them? And what time would be sufficient 
to relate them? Let us say, then, with the 
prophet, " O Lord, how manifold are thy 
works! in wisdom hast thou made them 
all."^ We shall not be able to say in self- 
justification, that we have learnt useful 
knowledge in books, since the untaught law 
of nature makes us choose that which is ad- 
vantageous to us. Do you know what good 
you ouglit to do your neiglibour? The good 
that you expect from him yourself. Do you 
know what is evil? That which you would 
not v/ish another to do to you. Neither 
botanical researches nor the experience of 
simples have made animals discover those 
which are useful to them ; but each knows 
naturally what is salutary and marvellously 
appropriates what suits its nature. 

4. Virtues exist in us also by nature, and the 
soul has affinity with them not by education, 
but by nature herself. We do not need lessons 
to hate illness, but by ourselves we repel what 
aflflictsus, the soul has no need of a master to 
teach us to avoid vice. Now all vice is a sick- 
ness of the soul as viitue is its health. Thus 
those have defined health well who have 
called it a regularity in the discharge of 
natural functions ; a definition that can be ap- 
plied without fear to the good condition of 
the soul. Thus, without having need of 
lessons, the soul can attain by herself to what 
is fit and conformable to nature.^ Hence it 



1 v€ToC TTOieirat cry]ix€.1ov 6 'Aparo? 

' 7) K0t'Arj5 fxvpjjirjKe^ ^X^^ ^^ ^^o- it6.vt(X, 
Baaaoif avr\viyKavTO.' 
KaLTLve^ OVK ojo. ypa.<f)Ovcrti', aXXd. Iva tovs a7ro/cei/xeVov? Kapiroi/i; 
OTav evpwTa (rvvayovTa<; aicrd^tovTai. Kal (f)o3r]&(i)crL <f>^opai' Kal 
(TrjxI/LV avaclyepovTtxii'f VTrep^aXXet 0€ iracrav ktrivoiav crvpeaedoi; i) tow 
trvpov rfjg ^Aa<TT>j(rews 7rpo/caTaAjji//is. Plut. ttot. tcjV. ^. k.t.X, 725- 

2 Ps. civ. 24. 

3 Tliis is the Stoic doctrine. " ^toicorum quidem fact'Hs 
conclusio est; qui cum Jinein bonorum esse senserint, con- 



104 



BASIL. 



comes that temperance everywhere is praised, 
justice is in honour, courage admired, and 
prudence the object of all aims ; virtues 
which concern the soul more than health 
concerns the body. Children love -^ your 
parents, and you, *' parents provoke not your 
children to wrath." ^ Does not natin'e say 
the same? Paul teaches us nothing new ; he 
only tightens the links ot" nature. If the 
lioness loves her cubs, if the she wolf fights 
to defend her little ones, what shall man say 
who is unfaithful to the precept and violates 
nature herself; or the son who insults the 
old age of his father; or the father whose 
second marria^^e has made him forsfet his 
first children.'* 

With animals invincible affection unites 
parents with children. It is the Creator, 
God Himself, who substitutes the strength 
of feeling for reason in them. From whence 
it comes that a lamb as it bounds from the 
fold, in the midst of a thousand sheep recog- 
nises the colour and the voice of its mother, 
runs to her, and seeks its own sources of 
milk. If its mother's udders are dry, it is 
content, and, without stopping, passes by 
more abundant ones. And how does the 
mother recognise it among the many lambs.? 
All have the same voice, the same colour, 
the same smell, as far at least as regards our 
sense of smell. Yet there is in these animals 
a more subtle sense than our perception 



g'ruere naturce, cumqne ea convenieiiter vivere.''* cf. Cic, De 
Fin. iii. 7, 26, an I De Nat. D. i. 14, and Hor., Ep., i. x. 12. 
" Vivere^ natn?'ce si canvenieiiter oportet.^^ So the Stoics' main 
rule of life is o^oAoyou/xeVw? ttj (ftvaec ^r]v. But with Basil this 
apparent disrcijard of the doctrine of oriarinal sin and the need 
of grace for redemption must be understood in the light of the 
catholic doctrine that sin is the corruption of human nature 
{cf. Art. ix. of Original or Birth Sin), which nature, though 
corrupt and prone to evil, retains capacities for good. But 
these capacities do need grace and training, cf. Basil's Homily 
on Ps. xlv. (66. " What is said about the Saviour has a double 
sense on account of the nature of the Godhead and the Economy 
of the incarnation. So, looking to the humanity of God, it is 
said 'thou hast loved rigliteousness and hated iniquity,' in- 
stead of saying * the rest of men by toil and discipline and 
careful attention mostly attain a disposition towards good 
and an aversion from vice. But thou hast a kind of natural 
relationship to good and alienation from iniquity.' And so to 
us, if we will, it is not liard to acquire a love of righteousness 
and a hatred of iniquity." i.e. In Christ, redeemed humanity 
loves good, and all men ♦ naturally' do need toil and disci- 
pline. The heredity of sin is recognised by Basil, (e.g-. in 
Horn, in Famem. 7.) Man fell froin grace given, and must 
return to it. {Serm. Ascet. in init.) It must always be re- 
membered that questions of ori<j^inal sin, the will, and grace 
never had the same importance in the Greek as they had in the 
Latin church, cf Dr, Travers Smith on St. Basil ("c. ix. p.ioS) 
and Bohringer {Das Vierte yahrhundert. Basil, p. 102) who 
remarks: Wenn er aiich noch von einer '■'■ Wieder herstelliing 
des freien Willens, den ivir zh hrauchbaren Gejassen fur den 
Herrn juid zu jedem giiten Werke fdhi,^ Werden " {De spir. 
sanct. 18), spric/it, so hat er dies dock jiirgends hegrundet, 
obschon er bei der Besprechung der Folgen des Falls zti- 
vjeilen sich aiissert, es sei der Mensch der von dem Schopfcr 
erhaltenen Frciheit beraitbt vjorden. Im Allgemeinen setzt er 
den freien Will en auch nach dem Fall im Menschen so gut 
wieder Voraus, zvie vor dem Fall, so aass j'ene Aeusseriingen 
kaum mehr als den Werth einer Redensart haben. Im Ganzen 
erinnert seine Darstellung wieder an diejenige des Athana- 
sius, dessen Einfltiss Man nicht verkennen kann. 

1 In Enh. vi. the word is '* obey." 

^cf. Eph, vi,4. 



which makes them recognise their own.' 
The little dog has as yet no teeth, nevertheless 
he defends himself with his mouth against any 
one vrho teases him. The calf has as yet no 
horns, nevertheless he already knows where 
his weapons will grow.^ Here we have evident 
proof that the instinct of animals is innate, 
and that in all beings there is nothing dis- 
orderly, nothing unforeseen. All bear the 
marks of the wisdom of the Creator, and show 
that they have come to life with the means of 
assuring their preservation. 

The dog is not gifted with a share of reason ; 
but with him instinct has thepovver of reason. 
The dog has learnt by nature the secret of 
elaborate inferences, which sages of the 
world, after long years of study, have hardly 
been able to disentangle. When the dog is 
on the track of game, if he sees it divide in 
different directions, he examines these differ- 
ent paths, and speech alone fails him to an- 
iiounce his reasoning. The creature, he says, 
is gone here or there or in another direc- 
tion. It is neither here nor there ; it is there- 
fore in the third direction. And thus, 
neglecting the false tracks, he discovers the 
true one. What more is done by those who, 
gravely occupied in demonstrating theories, 
trace lines upon the dust and reject two 
propositions to show that the third is the 
true one ,? ^ 

Does not the gratitude of the dog shame 
all who are ungrateful to their benefactors.? 
Many are said to have fallen dead by their 
murdered masters in lonely places.^ Others, 
wdien a crime has just been committed, have 
led those who were searching for the mur- 
derers, and have caused the criminals to be 
brought to justice. What will those say 
who, not content with not loving the Master 
who has created them and nourished them, 
have for their friends men whose mouth 
attacks the Lord, sitting at the same table 
with them, and, whilst partaking of their 
food, blaspheme Him wdio has given it to 
them } 



1 Fialon quotes Luc, ii, 367-370 : 

•' PrcEterea teneri tremiclis cunt vocibiis hcedi 
Cornigeras nortint matres, agniqne petitlci 
Balantum pecudes : ita, quod natura reposcit. 
Ad sua quisque fere decurrunt libera lactis.^^ 

2 cf. Ovid {Halient. ad init.) : 

** Accepit mundus legem ; dedit arma per omnes, 
Admonuitque sui. Vitulus sic numque niuiatur, 
^ui nondtim gerit in tenerajam cornua fronle.^^ 
^ cf. Plutarch {ttot. tmp, ^. (fip, k.t.K. 726). ot fie 8i.a\€KTLKoi 
(jyaac rbv Kvva to* 61a. iT\ei6vu3v Ste^evyixeyco xpixifxevoi/ ev T0t5 
7roAi;cr;)(i6ecrti' aTpaTTOis (TvWoyi^^cT'&aL Ti-pb? kavrov fjTOt rrJi'Se to 
d-y}piov (apixr]Kev 17 rrji'Se r} riqvBe • aWa. ijlyju ovre TrjvSe ovre Trji'6=, 
TrjvSe AoiTTOj/ -xpa. But the dog is said to smell the first, tha 
second, and the third. If he started off on the tliird without 
smelling, he would reason. As it is, there is no *' syllogism." 
* Also taken from Plutarch {noreoa rdv ^. 726), who tells 
stories of a dog found by King Fyrrhus on a journey, and of 
Hesiod's dog. 



THE HEXAEMERON. 



105 



5. But let us return to the spectacle of 
creation. The easiest animals to catch are 
the most productive. It is on account of this 
that hares and wild goats produce many little 
ones, and that wild sheep have twins, for 
fear lest these species should disappear, con- 
sumed by carnivorous animals. Beasts of 
prey, on the contrary, produce only a few 
and a lioness with difficulty gives birth to one 
lion ; ^ because, if they say truly, the cub 
issues from its mother b}^ tearing her with its 
claws ; and vipers are only born by gnawing 
through the womb, inflicting a proper punish- 
ment on their mother.^ Thus in nature all 
has been foreseen, all is the object of con- 
tinual care. If you examine the members 
even of animals, you will find that the Crea- 
tor has given them nothing superfluous, that 
He has omitted nothing that is necessary. 
To carnivorous animals He has given pointed 
teeth w^hich their nature requires for their 
support. Those that are only half furnished 
with teeth have received several distinct 
receptacles for their food. As it is not 
broken up enough in the first, they are gifted 
with the power of returning it after it has been 
swallowed, and it does not assimilate until 
it has been crushed by rumination. The 
first, second, third, and fourth stomachs of 
ruminating animals do not remain idle ; each 
one of them fulfils a necessary function.^ The 
neck of the camel is long so that it may lower 
it to its feet and reach the grass on vyhich it 
feeds. Bears, lions, tigers, all animals of 
this sort, have short necks buried in their 
shoulders ; it is because they do not live upon 
grass and have no need to bend down to 
the earth ; they are carnivorous and eat 
the animals upon whom they prey. 

Why has the elephant a trunk? This 
enormous creature, the greatest of terrestrial 
animals, created for the terror of those who 
meet it, is naturally huge and fleshy. If its 
neck was large and in proportion to its feet 
it would be difficult to direct, and would be 
of such an excessive weight that it would 
make it lean towards the earth. As it is, its 
head is attached to the spine of the back by 
short vertebrae and it has its trunk to take 
the place of a neck, and with it it picks up its 



1 cf. Plerod. iii. loS. Aristotle {Hist. An. vi. 31) refutes 
this. 

2 cf. Pliny (x. 72) : " Tertia die intra uterttm catulos ex- 
cludit, deinde singiilos singulis diehns parity viginti fere 
numero. Itaqne ceterce, tarditatis i)iipatientes, perrumpunt 
latera, occisa parente. cf. Herod, iii. 109. 

So Prudentius (^Hamartigenia 5S3) : 

" Sic viperay ut aiunt, 
Dentihus emoritur fusee per viscera prolis." 

See Sir T. Browne's Vulgar Errors^ iii. 16. 

3 Pliny (xi. 78) says ruminantihus o^eminus, but this is sup- 
posed to be a misreadino- for qnadrigeminus, ov 7\. mistaken 
interpretation of Aristotle {H.A. ii.19;, whom Basil is no 
doubt following-. 



food and draws up its drink. Its feet, with- 
out joints,' like united columns, support the 
weight of its body. If it were supported on 
lax and flexible legs, its joints would con- 
stantly give way, equally incapable of sup- 
porting its weight, should it wish either 
to kneel or rise. But it has under the foot 
a little ankle joint which takes the place of 
the leg and knee joints whose mobility would 
never have resisted this enormous and sway- 
ins" mass. Thus it had need of this nose 
which nearly touches its feet. Have you 
seen them in war marching at the head of 
the phalanx, like living towers, or breaking 
the enemies' battalions like mountains of 
flesh with their irresistible charge.? If their 
lower parts were not in accordance with 
their size they would never liave been able to 
hold their own. Now we are told that the 
elephant lives three hundred years and more,^ 
another reason for him to have solid and un- 
jointedfeet. But, as we have said, his trunk, 
which has the form and the flexibility of a ser- 
pent, takes its food from the earth and raises 
it up. Thus we are right in saying that it is 
impossible to find anything superfluous or 
wanting in creation. Well ! God has sub- 
dued this monstrous animal to .us to such a 
point that he understands the lessons and 
endures the blows we give him ; a manifest 
proof that the Creator has submitted all lo 
our rule, because we have been made in His 
image. It is not in great animals only that 
we see unapproachable wisdom ; no less 
wonders are seen in the sniallest. The high 
tops of the mountains which, near to the 
clouds and continually beaten by the winds, 
keep up a perpetual winter, do not arouse 
more admiration in me than the hollow 
valleys, which escape the storms of lofty 
peaks and preserve a constant mild tempera- 
ture. In the same way in the constitution 
of animals I am not more astonished at the 
size of the elephant, than at the mouse, who 
is feared by the elephant, or at the scor- 
pion's delicate sting, which has been 
hollowed like a pipe by the supreme arti- 
ficer to throw venom into the wounds it 
makes. And let nobody accuse the Creator 
of having produced venomous animals, de- 
stroyers and enemies of our life. Else let 
them consider it a crime in the schoolmaster 
when he disciplines the restlessness of youth 
by the use of the rod and whip to maintain 
order. ^ 

6. Beasts bear witness to the faith. 
Hast thou confidence in the Lord .? " Thou 



1 See Sir T. Browne, Vulgar Errors, iii. i. 

2 Arist. H.A. viii. 12 and ix. 72. Pliny vii. 10. 

3 cf. Horn. V. 4. 



io6 



BASIL. 



shalt walk upon the asp and the basilisk and 
thou shalt trample under feet the lion nnd the 
dragon." ^ With faith thou hast the power 
to walk upon serpents and scorpions. Do 
you not see that the viper which attached it- 
self to the hand of Paul, whilst he gathered 
sticks, did not injure him, because it found 
the saint full of faith ? If you have not faith, 
do not fear beasts so much as your faithless- 
ness, which renders you susceptible of all 
corruption. But I see that for a long time you 
have been asking me for an account of the cre- 
ation of man, and I think I can hear you all 
cry in your hearts, We are being taught the 
nature of our belongings, but we are igno- 
rant of ourselves. Let me then speak of it, 
since it is necessary, and let me put an end 
to my hesitation. In truth the most difficult 
of sciences is to know one's self. Not only 
our eye, from which nothing outside us es- 
capes, cannot see itself ; but our mind, so 
piercing to discover the sins of others, is 
slow to recognise its own faults.'^ Thus my 
speech, after eagerly investigating what is 
external to myself, is slow and hesitating in 
exploring my own nature. Yet the behold- 
ing of heaven and earth does not make us 
know God better than the attentive study of 
our being does ; I am, says the Prophet, fear- 
fully and wonderfully made ;^ that is to say, 
in observing myself I have known Thy 
infinite wisdom. "* And God said " Let us 
make man." ^ Does not' the light of theology 
shine, in these words, as through windows ; 
and does not the second Person show Him- 
self in a mystical way, without yet manifest- 
ing Himself until the great day? Where 
is the Jew who resisted the truth and pre- 
tended that God was speaking to Himself? 
It is He who spoke, it is said, and it is He 
who made. '' Let there be light and there 
was light." But then their words contain a 
manifest absurdity. Where is the smith, the 
carpenter, the shoemaker, who, without 
help and alone before the instruments of his 
trade, would say to himself ; let us make 
the sword, let us put together the plough, 
let us make the boot? Does he not per- 
form the work of his craft in silence? 
Strange folly, to say that any one has seated 
himself to command himself, to watch over 
himself, to constrain himself, to hurry him- 



2 c/; St. Matt.vii. 3. 



* cf. Ps. xci. 13. 
3 cf. Ps. cxxxix. 14. 

* " ^ coelo descendit -yvwAi treavToi/ " (Juv. xi. 27). Socrates, 
Chilo, Thales.Cleobulus, Bias, Pythagoras, have all been cred- 
ited with the saying. " Oti reconnait ici le precepte fecond de 
Vecole socratique. Ueglise chretienne s''e7t empara comwe de 
tout ce qu'elle irouvait de grand et de bon dans Vancienne 
Grece. Fialon. 

St. Basil has a Homily on the text Trpdo-exe aeaurcG (Deut. 
3tv. 9, Ixx.) 
^ Gen. i. 26. 



self, with the tones of a master ! But the un- 
happy creatures are not afraid to calumniate 
the Lord Himself. What will they not say 
with a tongue so well practised in l\ing? 
Here, however, words stop their mouth ; 
"And God said let us make man." Tell 
me ; is there then only one Person ? It is 
not written '' Let man be made," but, ^^ Let 
us make man." The preaching of theology 
remains enveloped in shadow before the ap- 
pearance of him who was to be instructed, 
but, now, the creation of man is expected, that 
faith unveils herself and the dogma of truth 
appears in all its light. " Let us make 
man." O enemy of Christ, hear God speak- 
ing to His Co-operator, to Him by Whom 
also He made the worlds. Who upholds all 
things by the word of His power. -^ But He 
does not leave the voice of true religion 
without answer. Thus the Jews, race hos- 
tile to truth, when they find themselves 
pressed, act like beasts enraged against man, 
who roar at the bars of their cage and show 
the cruelty and the ferocity of their nature, 
without being able to assuage their fury. 
God, they say, addresses Himself to several 
persons ; it is to the angels before Him that 
He says, *' Let us make man." Jewish 
fiction ! a fable whose frivolity shows whence 
it has come. To reject one person, they admit 
many. To reject the Son, they raise ser- 
vants to the dignity of counsellors; they 
make of our fellow slaves the agents in our 
creation. The perfect man attains the dig- 
nity of an angel ; but what creature can be 
like the Creator? Listen to the continuation, 
"In our image." What have you to reply? 
Is there one image of God and the angels? 
Father and Son have by absolute necessity 
the same form, but the form is here under- 
stood as becomes the divine, not in bodily 
shape, but in the proper qualities of God- 
head. Hear also, you who belong to the 
new concision,^ and who, under the appear- 
ance of Christianity, strengthen the error 
of the Jews.^ To Whom does He say, " in 
our image," to whom if it is not to Him who 
is " the brightness of His glory and the ex- 
press image of His person,"* " the image of 
the invisible God"?' It is then to His 
living image, to Him Who has said " I and 
my Father are one,"^ "He that hath seen 
me hath seen the Father," ' that God says 
" Let us make man in our image." Where 
is the unlikeness ^ in these Beings who have 
only one image ? " So God created man,' 



»> 9 



1 cf. Heb. i. 2, 3. * Heb. i. 3. « John x. 30, 

zphil.iii. 2. BCol. i. 15. 7johnxiv. 9. 

3 The Arians. 

8 TO o.v6t).oiov. Arius had taught that the Persons are 
a^'6jaolO(. ira/JiTTay dAAijAcov. " Gen. 1. 27. 



THE HEXAEMERON. 



107 



It is not " They made." Here Scripture 
avoids the pkirality of the Persons. After hav- 
ing enhghtened the Jew^, it dissipates the 
error of tlie Gentiles in putting itself under 
the shelter of unity, to make you understand 
that the Son is with the Father, and guard- 
ing you from the danger of polytheism. He 
created him in the image of God. God 
still shows us His co-operator, because He 
does not say, in His image, but in the image 
of God. 

If God permits, we will say later in what 
way man was created in the image of God, 
and how he shares this resemblance. To- 
day we say but only one word. If there is 
one image, from wdience .comes the intoler- 
able blasphemy of pretending that the Son 
is unlike the Father ? What ingratitude ! 
You have yourself received this likeness and 
you refuse it to your Benefactor ! You pre- 
tend to keep personally that which is in 



you a gift of grace, and you do not wish that 
the Son should keep His natural likeness to 
Him who begat Him. 

But evening, which long ago sent the sun 
to the west, imposes silence upon m^. 
Here, then, let me be content with what I 
have said, and put my discourse to bed. I 
have told you enough up to this point to ex- 
cite your zeal ; with the help of the Holy 
Spirit I will make for you a deeper investi- 
gation into the truths which follow. Retire, 
then, I beg you, with joy, O Christ-loving 
congregation, and, instead of sumptuous 
dishes of various delicacies, adorn and sanc- 
tify your tables with the remembrance of 
my words. May the Anomoean be con- 
founded, the Jew covered with shame, the 
faithful exultant in the dogmas of truth, and 
the Lord glorified, the Lord to Whom 
be glory and power, world without end. 
Amen. 



INTRODUCTION TO THE LETTERS, 



Of Saint Basil the extant letters, according to popular ascription, number three hundred 
and sixty-six. Of these three hundred and twenty-five, or, according to some, only three 
hundred and nineteen are genuine. They are published in three chronological divisions, 
the ist, (Letters 1-46) comprising those vs^ritten by Basil before his elevation to the epis- 
copate ; the second (47-291) the Letters of the Episcopate; the third (292-366) those 
which have no note of time, together with some that are of doubtful genuineness, and a few 
certainly spurious.^ They may be classified as (a) historical, (b) dogmatic, (c) moral 
and ascetic, (d) disciplinary, (e) consolatory, (f ) commendatory, and (g) familiar. In 
the historic we have a vivid picture of his age. The doctrinal are of special value as ex- 
pressing and defending the Nicene theology. The moral and ascetic indicate the growing 
importance of the monastic institution which Athanasiifs at about the same time was in- 
strumental in recommending to the Latin Church. The disciplinary, (notably 188, 199, 
and 217), to Amphilochius, illustrate the earlier phases of ecclesiastical law. The consol- 
atory, commendatory, and familiar, have an immediate biographical value as indicating the 
character and faith of the writer, and may not be without use alike as models of Christian 
feeling and good breeding, and as bringing comfort in trouble to readers remote in time 
and place. The text in the following translation is that of Migne's edition, except where 
it is stated to the contrary. Of the inadequacy of the notes to illustrate the letters as they 
deserve no one can be more vividly conscious than myself. But the letters tell their own 
story. 



LETTER L'^ 

To Eustathius the Philosopher.^ . 

Much distressed as I was by the flouts of 
what is called fortune, who always seems to 
be hindering my meeting you, I was won- 
derfully cheered and comforted by your letter, 
for I had already been turning over in my 
mind whether what so many people say is 
really true, that there is a certain Necessity 
or Fate which rules all the events of our 
lives both great and small, and that we 
human beings have control over nothing; 
or, that at all events, all human life is driven 
by a kind of luck.^ You will be very ready 
to forgive me for these reflexions, when you 
learn by what causes I was led to make 
them. 

On hearing of your philosophy, I enter- 
tained a feeling of contempt for the teachers 
of iVthens, and left it. The city on the 



Hellespont I passed by, more unmoved than 
any Ulysses, passing Sirens' songs. ^ 

Asia® I admired; but I hurried on to the 
capital of all that is best in it. When I 
arrived home, and did not find you, — 
the prize which I had sought so eagerly, — 
there began many and various unexpected 
hindrances. First I must miss you because 
I fell ill ; then when you were setting out 
for the East I could not start with you ; 
then, after endless trouble, I reached Syria, 
but I missed the philosopher, who had set 
out for Egypt. Then I must set out for 
Egypt, a long and weary way, and even 
there I did not gain my end. But so pas- 
sionate was my longing that I must either 
set out for Persia, and proceed with you to 
the farthest lands of barbarism, (you had got 
there ; what an obstinate devil possessed 
me!) or settle here at Alexandria. This 
last I did. I really think that unless, like some 
tame beast, I had followed a bough held out 



1 Fessler, Insi. Pat. i. 51S. 2 placed in 357. 

3 Another MS. reading is "To Eustathius, Presbyter of Antioch." The Benedictine note is "Eustathius was not a 
Presbyter, but a heathen, as is indicated by Basil's words, ' Are not these things work of fate, — of necessity, as you 
would say? ' " ■* The word T\)\y\ does not occur in the N.T. 

5 (OS ouSels '05u(rcr6vs. The Ben. translation is " citius quam qztisquam Ulysses.^' But the reason of the escape of Ulysses 
was not his speed, but his stopping the ears of his crew with wax and tying himself to the mast. cf. Horn. Od. xii. 158. 
The " city on the Hellespont," is, according to the Ben. note, Constantinople; but Constantinople is more than Joo m. from 
the Dardanelles, and Basil could hardly write so loosely. 

'■• Apparently not the Roman Province of Asia, but what we call Asia Minor, a name which came into use in Basil's century. 
The '* metropolis " is supposed to mean Caesarea. 



no 



BASIL. 



to me till I was quite worn out, you would 
have been driven on and on beyond Indian 
Nyssa,' or any more remote region, and 
wandered about out there. Why say more? 
On returning home, I cannot meet you, 
hindered by lingering ailments. If these do 
not get better I shall not be able to meet you 
even in the winter. Is not all this, as you 
yourself sa}^ dne to Fate? Is not this Neces- 
sity ? Does not my case nearly outdo poets' 
tales of Tantalus? But, as I said, I feel bet- 
ter after getting your letter, and am now no 
longer of the same mind. When God gives 
good things I think we must thank Him, 
and not be angry with Him while He is 
controlling their distribution. So if He 
grant me to join you, I shall think it best 
and most delightful ; if He put me off, I will 
gently endure the loss. For He always 
rules our lives better than we could choose 
for ourselves. * 

LETTER 11.=^ 
Basil to Girgory. 

I. [I recognised your letter, as one recog- 
nises one's friends' children from their ob- 
vious likeness to their parents. Your saying 
that to describe the kind of place I live in, 
before letting you hear anything about how 
1 live, would not go far towards persuading 
you to share my life, was just like you ; it 
was worthy of a soul like yours, which 
makes nothing of all that concerns this life 
here, in comparison with the blessechiess 
which is promised us hereafter. What I do 
myself, day and night, in this remote spot, I 
am ashamed to write. I have abandoned 
my life in town, as one sure to lead to count- 
less ills ; but I have not yet been able to get 
quit of myself. I am like travellers at sea, 
who have never gone a voyage before, and 
are distressed and seasick , who quarrel with 
the ship because it is so big and makes such 
a tossing, and, when they get out of it into 
the pinnace or dingey, are everywhere and 
always seasick and distressed. Wherever 
they go their nausea and misery go with 
them. My state is something like this. I 
carry my own troubles with me, and so 
everywhere I am in the midst of similar dis- 
comforts. So in the end I have not irot 
much good out of my solitude. What I 
ought to have done ; what would have en- 
abled me to keep close to the footprints of 

1 Nvo-ios = 'Ii'5t/<65. cf. Soph. Aj . 707. Nyssa was in the 
Punjab. 

^ Placed circa 35S, on Basil's rctirinsf to Pontns. Trans- 
lated in part iiy Newman, The Cfnirch of the Fathers^ p. 131, 
ed. 1S40. With the exception of the passages in brackets [ ], 
the verbion in the text is that of Newman. 



Him who has led the way to salvation — 
for He says, *' If any one will come after me, 
let him deny himself and take up his cross, 
and follow me" * — is this.] 

2. W^e must strive after a quiet mind. 
As well might the eye ascertain an otiject 
put before it while it is wandering restless 
up and down and sideways, without fixing 
a steady gaze upon it, as a mind, distracted 
by a thousand worldly cares, be able clearly 
to apprehend the truth. He who is not yet 
yoked in the bonds of matrimony is harassed 
by frenzied cravings, and rebellious impulses, 
and hopeless attachments; he who has found 
his mate is encompassed with his own 
tumult of cares ; if he is childless, there is 
desire for children ; has he children? anxiety 
about their education, attention to his wife,^ 
care of his house, oversight of his servants,^ 
misfortunes in trade, quarrels with his neigh- 
bours, lawsuits, the risks of the merchant, 
the toil of the farmer. Each da}', as 'it 
comes, darkens the soul in its own wa} ; and 
night after night takes up the day's anxieties, 
and cheats the mind with illusions in ac- 
cordance. Now one way of escaping all 
this is separation from the whole world ; that 
is, not bodily separation, but the severance 
of the soul's sympathy with the body, and 
to live so without city, home, goods, society, 
possessions, means of life, business, engage- 
ments, human learning, that the heart may 
readily receive every impress of divine doc- 
trine. Preparation of heart is the unlearning 
the prejudices of evil converse. It is the 
smoothing the waxen tablet before attempt- 
ing to write on it.** 

Now solitude is of the greatest use for this 
purpose, inasmuch as it stills our passions, 
and gives room for principle to cut them out 
of the soul ^ [For just as animals are more 
easily controlled when they are stroked, lust 
and anger, fear and sorrow, the soul's deadly 
foes, are better brought under the control of 
reason, after being calmed by inaction, and 
where there is no continuous stimulation.] 
Let there then be such a place as ours, sep- 
arate from intercourse with men, that the 
tenour of our exercises be not interrupted from 
without. Pious exercises nourish the soul 
with divine thoughts. What state can be 
more blessed than to imitate on earth the 
choruses of angels? to begin the day with 



1 Matt. xvi. 24. 

2 -yvi/ai/cbs </)i;AaAc^, rather " gruardianship of his wife." 

3 ofKteTwi'TrpocrTaa-tai., rather " protection of his servants." 

4 R:ither •* for just as it is impossible to write on the wax 
without previously erasinjj the marks on it, so is it impossible 
to communicate divine doctrines to the soul without removing 
from it its preconceived and habitual notions." 

^ The following paragraph is altogether omitted by New- 
man. 



LETTERS. 



in 



prayer, and honour our Maker with hymns 
and songs? As the day brightens, to be- 
take ourselves, with prayer attending on it 
throughout, to our labours, and to sweeten' 
our work with hyinns, as if with salt? Sooth- 
ing hymns compose the mind to a cheerful 
and calm state. Quiet, then, as I have said, 
is the first step in our sanctification ; the 
tongue purified from the gossip of the world ; 
the eyes unexcited by fair colour or comely 
shape ; the ear not relaxing the tone of mind 
b}^ voluptuous songs, nor by that especial 
mischief, the talk of light men and jesters. 
Thus the mind, saved from dissipation from 
without, and not through the senses thrown 
upon the world, falls back upon itself, and 
thereby ascends to the contemplation of God. 
[When ^ that beauty shines about it, it even 
forgets its very nature ; it is dragged down 
no more by thought of food nor anxiety con- 
cerning dress; it keeps holiday from earthly 
cares, and devotes all its energies to the 
acquisition of the good things which are 
eternal, and asks only how may be made 
to flourish in it self-control and manly 
courage, righteousness and v/isdom, and all 
the other virtues, which, distributed under 
these heads, properly enable the good man 
to discharge all the duties of life.] 

3. The study of inspired Scripture is the 
chief way of finding our duty, for in it we 
find both instruction about conduct and the 
lives of blessed men, delivered in writing, 
as some breathing images of godly living, 
for the imitation of their good works. 
Hence, in whatever respect each one feels 
himself deficient, devoting himself to this 
imitation, he finds, as from some dispensarv, 
the due medicine for his ailment. He who 
is enamoured of chastity dwells upon the 
history of Joseph, and from him learns 
chaste actions, finding him not only pos- 
sessed of self-command over pleasure, but 
virtuously-minded in habit. He is taught 
endurance by Job [who,^ not only when the 
circumstances of life began to turn against 
him, and in one moment he was plunged 
from wealth into penury, and from being the 
father of fair children into childlessness, 
remained the same, keeping the disposition 
of his soul all through uncrushed, but was 
not even stirred to anger against the friends 
who came to comfort him, and trampled on 
him, and aggravated his troubles.] Or 
should he be enquiring how to be at once 
meek and great-hearted, hearty against sin, 
meek towards men, he will find David 
noble in warlike exploits, meek and unruf- 



* Rather '• season." 

3 Clause omitted by Newman. 



2 Omitted by Newman. 



fled as regards revenge on enemies. Such, 
too, was Moses, rising up with great heart upon 
sinners against God, but with meek soul 
bearing their evil-speaking against himself. 
[Thus,' generally, as painters, when they 
are painting from other pictures, constantly 
look at the model, and do their best to trans- 
fer its lineaments to their own work, so too 
must he who is desirous of rendering him- 
self perfect in all branches of excellency, 
keep his eyes turned to the lives of the saints 
as though to living and moving statues, and 
make their virtue his own by imitation. 

4. Prayers, too, after reading, find the soul 
fresher, and more vigorously stirred by love 
towards God. And that prayer is good 
which imprints a clear ulea of God in the 
soul ; and the having God established in 
self b}^ means of memory is God's indwell- 
ing. Thus we beconie God's temple, when 
the continuity of our recollection is not sev- 
ered by earthly cares; when the mind is 
harassed by no sudden sensations ; when the 
worshipper flees from all things and retreats 
to God, drawing aw^ay all the feelings that 
invite him to self-indulgence, and passes his 
time in the pursuits that lead to virtue.] 

5. This, too, is a very important point to at- 
tend to, — knowledge how to converse ; to in- 
terrooate without over-earnestness ; to answer 
without desire of display; not to interrupt 
a profitable speaker, or to desire ambitiously 
to put in a word of one's own ; to be 
measured in speaking and hearing; not to 
be ashamed of receiving, or to be grudging 
in giving information, nor to pass another's 
knowledge for one's own, as depraved 
women their supposititious children, but to 
refer it candidly to the true parent. The 
middle tone of voice is best, neither so low 
as to be inaudible, nor to be ill-bred from 
its high pitch. One should reflect first what 
one is going to say, and then give it ut- 
terance: be courteous when addressed; 
amiable in social intercourse; not aiming to 
be pleasant by facetiousness, but cultivating 
gentleness in kind admonitions. Harshness 
is ever to be put aside, even in censuring.^ 
[The more you shew modesty and humility 
yourself, the more likely are you to be ac- 
ceptable to the patient who needs your treat- 
ment. There are however many occasions 
when we shall do well to employ the kind 
of rebuke used by the prophet who did not 
in his own person utter the sentence of con- 
demnation on David after his sin, but by 
suggesting an imaginary character made the 

1 Omitted bv Newman. 

2 Here Newman notes that Basil seems sometimes to hpve 
fallen short of his own ideal. His translation ends at this 
point. 



112 



BASIL. 



sinner judge of his own sin, so that, after 
passing his own sentence, he could not 
find fault with the seer who had convicted 
him/ 

6. From the humble and submissive 
spirit comes an eye sorrowful and downcast, 
appearance neglected, hair rough, dress 
dirty ;^ so that the appearance which mourn- 
ers take pains to present may appear our 
natural condition. The tunic should be 
fastened to the body by a girdle, the belt not 
going above the flank, like a woman's, nor 
left slack, so that the tunic flows loose, like 
an idler's. The gait ought not to be slug- 
gish, which shews a character without 
energy, nor on the other hand pushing and 
pompous, as though our impulses were rash 
and wild. The one end of dress is that it 
should be a sufficient covering alike in winter 
and summer. As to colour, avoid bright- 
ness ; in material, the soft and delicate. To 
aim at bright colours in dress is like women's 
beautifying when they colour cheeks and 
hair with hues other than their own. The 
tunic ought to be thick enough not to want 
other help to keep the wearer warm. 
The shoes should be cheap but serviceable. 
In a word, what one has to regard in dress 
is the necessary. So too as to food ; for a 
man in good health bread will suffice, and 
water will quench thirst; such dishes of 
vegetables may be added as conduce to 
strengthening the body for the discharge of 
its functions. One ought not to eat with any 
exhibition of savage gluttony, but in every- 
thing that concerns our pleasures to maintain 
moderation, quiet, and self-control; and, all 
through, not to let the mind forget to think 
of God, but to make even the nature of our 
food, and the constitution of the body that 
takes it, a ground and means for offering 
Him the glor}^, bethinking us how the vari- 
ous kinds of food, suitable to the needs of 
our bodies, are due to the provision of the 
great Steward of the Universe. Before 
meat let grace be said, in recognition alike 
of the gifts which God gives now, and which 
He keeps in store for time to come. Say 

1 Basil's admirable little summary of the main principles of 
conversation may have been suu;gested hv the recollection of 
many well known writers. On such a subject no wide reader 
could be original, cf. inter alios, the oi/coue TroAAd AaAei is' 
oAivaof Bias; the yKioTta fxrj npOTpexerui roii voii of Pittacus. 
Aulus Gellius {Nod. Att. i. 15), referring to the 

rAwo"0"Tj9 TOi ©rjcraupbs kv audpijiiTOKriv aptcrros 
<I>e(,6cjA>j9 TrAeicTTT) 6e \d-pi<; KariX fxirpov iovcrrjs 

of Hesiod, says: *' Hesiodus poetarum prudentissinttis lin- 
guam tJon vu/^andavi sed recondefidam esse dicit, fierifide ut 
thesmirum . iljusque esse in p7'omendo gratiam plurimam, si 
modesta et parca et modulatu sit." 

On the desirability of gentleness in blame, cf. Ambrose, /« 
Lucant. : " P/nsmpro/jcit arnica correctio quam acciisatio tur- 
bulcnta : ilia pudorem inctitit, hcec indignationetn movet." 

2 This was the mark of the old heathen philosophers, cf. 
Aristoph., Birds 12S2, ippvirutv ecw/cparwi'. 



grace after meat in gratitude for gifts given 
and petition for gifts promised. Let there 
be one fixed hour for taking food, always the 
same in regular course, that of all the four 
and twenty of the day and night barely this 
one may be spent upon the body. The 
rest the ascetic ' ought to spend in mental 
exercise. Let sleep be light and easily 
interrupted, as naturally happens after a 
light diet ; it should be purposely broken by 
thoughts about great themes. To be over- 
come by heavy torpor, with limbs unstrung, 
so that a way is readily opened to wild 
fancies, is to be plunged in daily death. What 
dawn is to some this midnight is to athletes 
of piety ; then the silence of night gives 
leisure to their soul ; no noxious sounds or 
sights obtrude upon their hearts; the mind 
is alone with itself and God, correcting it- 
self by the recollection of its sins, giving 
itself precepts to help it to shun evil, and 
imploring aid from God for the perfecting 
of what it longs for.] 

LETTER in.2 
To Candidianus .^ 

I. When I took your letter into my hand, 
I underwent an experience worth telling. I 
looked at it with the awe due to a document 
making some state announcement, and as I 
was breaking the wax, I felt a dread greater 
than ever guilty Spartan felt at sight of the 
Laconian scvtale."* 

When, however, I had opened the letter, 
and read it through, I could not help laugh- 
ing, partly for joy at finding nothing alarm- 
ing in it; partly because I likened your state 
of affairs to that of Demosthenes. Demos- 
thenes, you remember, when he was provid- 
ing for a certain little company of chorus 
dancers and musicians, requested to be styled 
no longer Demosthenes, but " choragus." ° 
You are always the same, whether playing 
the "choragus "or not. "Choragus" you 
are indeed to soldiers myriads more in 
number than the individuals to whom De- 



1 ao-KTjTT)?, firstly an artisan, came to = a^Av^rrj?, and by 
ecclesiastical writers is used for hermit or monk. The cpTj/u-^TrK, 
or desert dweller, lives either in retreat as an anchoret, or soli- 
tary, /uovaxo?, whence " monk; " or in common with others, in 
a Koiv6/3ioi', as a *' coenobite." All would be acr/cr/rai. 

2 Placed at the be^innino^ of the retreat in Pontus. 

3 A g-overnor of Cappadocia, friendly to Basil and to 
Gregory of Nazianzns. {cf. Greg., Ep. cxciv.) 

* ?,^. the statf or baton used at Sparta for dispatches. The 
strip of leather on which the communication was to be made 
is said to have been rolled slantwise round it, and the message 
was then written leuiarthwise. The correspondent was said to 
have a staff of a size exactly corresponding, and so by rewind- 
ing the strip could read what was written. Vide K\x\\x% Gellius 
xvii. Q. 

^ Plutarch ttoA. napayy, xxii. r) to tow ArifJioa6ei>ov<; on vvv 
ovK eari ArjjiAOcr0evTj5 aWd. zeal 0ecr/xo0e'TTj? 17 X^PVy^"* V crrecfyai/rj- 
(f)6po<:. 



LETTERS. 



113 



mosthenes supplied necessaries ; and yet 
you do not when you write to me stand 
on your dignity, but keep up the old style. 
You do not give up the study of litera- 
ture, but, as Plato ^ has it, in the midst of 
the storm and tempest of affairs, you stand 
aloof, as it were, under some strong wall, and 
keep your mind clear of all disturbance ; nay, 
more, as far as in you lies, you do not even 
let others be disturbed. Such is your life ; 
great and wonderful to all who have eyes to 
see ; and yet not wonderful to any one who 
judges by the whole purpose of your life. 

Now let me tell my own story, extraordi- 
nary indeed, but only what might have been 
expected. 

2. One of the hinds who live with us 
here at Annesi,^ on the death of my servant, 
without alleging any breach of contract with 
him, without approaching me, without mak- 
ing any complaint, without asking me to 
make him any voluntary payment, without 
any threat of violence should he fail to get it, 
all on a sudden, with certain mad fellows 
like himself, attacked my house, brutally-as- 
saulted the women who were in charge of it, 
broke in the doors, and after appropriating 
some of the contents himself, and promising 
the rest to any one who liked, carried off 
evervthingr. I do not wish to be reo^arded as 
the ne plus ultra of helplessness, and a suit- 
able object for the violence of any one wdio 
likes to attack me. Shew me, then, now, I 
beg you, that kindly interest which you have 
always shewn in my affairs. Only on one 
condition can my tranquillity be secured, — 
that I be assured of having your energy on 
my side. It would be quite punishment 
enough, from my point of view, if the man 
were apprehended by the district magistrate 
and locked up for a short period in the gaol. 
It is not only that lam indignant at the treat- 
ment I have suffered, but I want security for 
the future. 

LETTER IV.' 

To Olympius.^ 

What do you mean, my dear Sir, by 
evicting from our retreat my dear friend and 
nurse of philosophy. Poverty? Were she 
but gifted with speech, I take it you would 
have to appear as defendant in an action for 
unlawful ejectment. She might plead ''I 
chose to live with this man Basil, an admirer 
of Zeno,' who, when he had lost everything 



* Rep. vi. 10. oto;' ev x'^i.ixuivi KovLopTOu Kal ^aAr;? vnb TTvev- 
jutaToc <l)too/jt€i'ov vno rei^'Of aTTOcrTo.?. 

2 Vide Prolegomena. 

3 Placed about 358. Olympius sends Basil a present in his 
retreat, and he playfully remonstrates. 

* cf. Letters xii., xiii., Ixiii., Ixiv., and ccxi. 
» The founder of the Stoic school. 



in a shipwreck, cried, with great fortitude, 
' well done, Fortune ! you are reducing me 
to the old cloak ; ' ' a great admirer of Clean- 
thes, who by drawing water from the well 
got enough to live on and pay his tutors' 
fees as well ; ^ an immense admirer of Dio- 
genes, who prided himself on requiring no 
more than was absolutely necessary, and 
flung away his bowl after he had learned 
from some lad to stoop down and drink from 
the hollow of his hand." In some such 
terms as these you might be chidden by my 
dear mate Poverty, whom your presents have 
driven from house and home. She might 
too add a threat ; '* if I catch you here again, 
I shall shew that what went before was 
Sicilian or Italian luxury : so I shall exactly 
requite you out of my own store." 

But enough of this. I am very glad that 
you have already begun a course of medicine, 
and pray that you may be benefited by it. 
A condition of body fit for painless activity 
would well become so pious a soul. 

LETTER V.3 

To Nectarius^ 

I. I HEARD of your unendurable loss, and 
was much distressed. Three or four days 
went by, and I was still in some doubt be- 
cause my informant was not able to give 
me any clear details of the melancholy 
event. While I was incredulous about what 
was noised abroad, because I prayed that 
it might not be true, I received a letter 
from the Bishop fully confirming the un- 
happy tidings. I need not tell you how I 
sighed and wept. Who could be so stony- 
hearted, so truly inhuman, as to be in- 
sensible to what has occurred, or be 
affected by merely moderate grief.^ He is 
gone ; heir of a noble house, prop of a 
family, a father's hope, offspring of pious 
parents, nursed with innumerable prayers, 
in the very bloom of manhood, torn from 
his father's hands. These things are enough 
to break a heart of adamant and make it 
feel. It is only natural then that I am 
deeply touched at this trouble ; I who 
have been intimately connected with you 
from the beginning and have made your 
joys and sorrows mine. But yesterday it 
seemed that you had only little to trouble 



1 The rpt'^wv, dim. rpi/Soiviot', or worn cloak, was emblematic 
of the philosopher and later of the monk, as now the cowl. 
cf. Lucian, Pereff. 15, and Synesius, Pip. 147. 

2 Cleanthes. the Lydiiin Stoic, was hence called (fcpe'oi/TAo?, or 
well drawer. On him vide Val. Max. viii. 7 and Sen., Ep, 44. 

3 Placed about 35S. 

* cf. Letter 290. The identification of the two Nectarii is 
conjectural. '• Tillemont is inclined to identify Basil's cor- 
respondent with the future bishop of Constantinople, but with- 
out sufficient grounds." D.C.B. see. 



114 



BASIL. 



you, and that your life's stream was flow- 
ing prosperously on. In a moment, by a 
demon's malice,' all the happiness of the 
house, all the brightness of life, is destroyed, 
and our lives are made a doleful story. If 
we wish to lament and weep over what has 
happened, a life time will not be enough; 
and if all mankind mourns with us they 
will be powerless to make their lamenta- 
tion match our loss. Yes, if all the streams 
run tears ^ they will not adequately weep 
our woe. 

2. But we mean, — do we not? — to bring 
out the gift which God has stored in our 
hearts ; I mean that sober reason which in 
our happy days is wont to draw lines of 
limitation round our souls, and when troubles 
come about us to recall to our minds that 
we are but men, and to suggest to us, what 
indeed we have seen and heard, that life 
is full of similar misfortunes, and that the 
examples of human sufferings are not a 
few. Above all, this will tell us that it is 
God's command that we who trust in 
Christ should not grieve over them who 
are fallen asleep, because we hope in the 
resurrection ; and that in reward for great 
patience great crowns of glory are kept in 
store by the Master of life's course. Only 
let us allow our wiser thoughts to speak to 
us in this strain of music, and we may 
peradventure discover some slight allevi- 
ation of our trouble. Play the man, then, 
I implore you ; the blow is a heavy one, 
but stand firm ; do not fall under the 
weight of your grief; do not lose heart. 
Be perfectly assured of this, that though 
the reasons for what is ordained by God 
are beyond us, yet always what is arranged 
for us by Him Who is wise and Who loves 
us is to be accepted, be it ever so grievous to 
endure. He Himself knows how He is 
appointing what is best for each and why 
the terms of life that He fixes for us are 
unequal. There exists some reason incom- 
prehensible to man why some are sooner 
carried far away from us, and some are 
left a longer while behind to bear the 
burdens of this painful life. So